At least 24 people have died as a result of the icy storm that has gripped much of the United States. The storm has also trapped some individuals inside their houses with towering snowdrifts and cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
Details about Millions of Americans are camped out in anticipation of a brutal and deadly winter storm
The storm’s size has been almost unheard of, spanning from the Rio Grande near the Mexican border to the Great Lakes near Canada. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures fell sharply below average from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, affecting around 60% of the country’s population.
As of early Sunday, 1,346 domestic and international flights have been canceled, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.
Forecasters reported that a bomb cyclone—which forms when the air pressure in a powerful storm rapidly drops—had formed close to the Great Lakes, causing blizzard-like conditions, including intense winds and snowfall.
Hurricane-force winds and snow caused by the storm paralyzed emergency response efforts in Buffalo, paralyzing the airport into Monday, according to officials, and creating whiteout conditions. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul claimed practically every fire engine in the city was stranded. At 7 a.m. on Sunday, the National Weather Service reported that the snow total at Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 43 inches (109 cm).
Emergency personnel was unable to reach three persons in time to address their medical issues, and two of them died in suburban Cheektowaga, New York, homes on Friday. A third person passed away in Buffalo. Overnight, a further four deaths were verified, bringing the total for Erie County to seven. There could be more fatalities, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
According to Poloncarz, “some were found in cars, while some were located on the street in snowbanks.” “We are aware that some passengers have spent more than two days stranded in their vehicles.”
Buffalo residents were frantically trying to leave their houses and find somewhere with heat because of the freezing conditions and day-old power outages. But for those like Jeremy Manahan, who charged his phone in his parked car after nearly 29 hours without electricity, that wasn’t an option because city streets were covered with a thick blanket of white.
Power was lost as a result of the storm in towns from Maine to Seattle. But across the United States, heat and lighting were gradually being restored. Less than 300,000 people remained without power around 8 a.m. EDT on Sunday, down from a peak of 1.7 million, according to poweroutage.us. Less than 6,600 North Carolina customers were without electricity, down from a peak of 485,000 or more. Rolling blackouts, according to utility officials, will last for the upcoming days.
About 121,300 consumers were still without power in all six New England states, with Maine still being the worst-hit state.
In recent days, storm-related fatalities have been reported across the nation: seven in Erie County, New York; ten in multiple crashes in Ohio, including a pileup involving about 50 vehicles, a man whose sport utility vehicle struck a snowplow, and an electrocuted utility worker; four drivers killed in separate collisions in Missouri and Kansas; a woman struck by a falling branch in Vermont; an apparently homeless man discovered in the bitter cold of Colorado; and a woman who fell and broke her neck.
According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Florida plummeted into the 20s and 30s in other areas of central Florida for the first time in nearly five years at Tampa International Airport.
West Palm Beach had a low of 43 degrees (6.1 degrees Celsius) in South Florida. Iguanas fell off of trees as a result of the temperature dip since the cold-blooded reptiles frequently become immobile in unusually cold weather.