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News > U.S.

Powerful Winter Storm Across the US Leaves 35 Dead

  • A truck remains stuck in Hamburg, New York, U.S., Dec. 24, 2022.

    A truck remains stuck in Hamburg, New York, U.S., Dec. 24, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/ @kastytis

Published 26 December 2022

As of Sunday evening, electricity is still out for tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the northeastern part of the United States

The death toll in the United States from a powerful winter storm climbed to 35 on Sunday, according to a tally by NBC News.


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The deaths were reported in more than ten states, including New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma. Four people died in a three-vehicle crash in Ohio on Saturday, a day after a massive pileup on the Ohio Turnpike, causing many more injuries.

The winter storm and blizzard before and during the Christmas Holiday have caused the deaths of 12 people in Erie County in western New York State, including six from the city of Buffalo, said County Executive Mark Poloncarz in a briefing on Sunday.

Unfortunately, reports from the field showed there is going to be "a number of additionally confirmed deaths in the next six hours, because of bodies that have been found but have not yet been transported to hospital for identification and confirmation of death," said Poloncarz.

A driving ban is still in effect for all of Erie County, and for the first time, the Buffalo Fire Department could not respond to calls due to impassable roads and stuck cars.

"These cold temperatures are life-threatening, so New Yorkers should please stay inside today. If you must go outside, wear appropriate clothing, monitor for signs of hypothermia or frostbite, and take breaks," New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted on Sunday.

At least 200 National Guard members are on the ground in Western New York, doing wellness checks, delivering food to shelters and relieving the first responders. Additional hundreds of members of the National Guard would be deployed on Monday, and the federal government was expected to grant a disaster declaration for the area very shortly.

Washington, D.C., had the coldest Christmas in more than two decades. The U.S. capital's cold weather emergency remains in effect on Sunday, and government officials are asking residents to limit their time outdoors and dress warmly.

Weather forecasts on Sunday showed that much of the eastern United States would remain in a deep freeze through Monday before a moderating trend sets in on Tuesday. Lake-effect snows will continue to result in locally hazardous travel conditions for the next couple of days, but conditions are expected to improve slowly.

As of Sunday evening, electricity is still out for tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the northeastern part of the United States.

Some utility companies recommended customers conserve energy as frigid temperatures have overburdened gas pipelines and could lead to more power outages. Though thousands of people have seen power restored, about 15,000 customers in Buffalo are still without.

"Unfortunately, based on the information we have from the National Grid, restoration may not occur until Tuesday for many of those people," Poloncarz added.

In Jackson, Mississippi, the water system experienced fluctuating pressure. Some residents reportedly complained that they had no water pressure on Christmas Eve.

The cold weather has also wreaked havoc on travel. The snowfall at Buffalo Niagara International Airport totaled 43 inches as of Sunday morning, according to the U.S. National Weather Service.

According to Hochul, six counties in New York State have travel bans in place, with only emergency personnel allowed to go on the roads. Over 2,500 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been canceled this Christmas Sunday, with around 6,200 delayed.

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