Across the U.S., at least 63 people have died amid unusually frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall. Officials confirmed the updated death count Tuesday morning, NBC News reported. At least 28 of the deaths occurred around Buffalo, New York, where it continues to snow.
The winter storm hit New York this past Friday, dumping up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) in some places, Reuters reported. The extreme conditions have delayed emergency services across the region, shut off power for thousands, and trapped people in their vehicles and homes.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted that three of the bodies recovered were in vehicles, four resulted from lack of heat, and 14 people were found dead outside. “This is a horrible situation,” Byron Brown, mayor of Buffalo, said during a news conference yesterday.
Western New York will continue to see some snowfall today, the National Weather Service’s Buffalo station said. Residents have posted videos online showing a complete whiteout from their homes or their cars.
Other videos uploaded by people in Buffalo show how drivers abandoned their cars in several feet of unplowed snow.
Elsewhere in the U.S., officials have reported storm-related deaths in Ohio, Vermont, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, NPR reported.
More than 4,600 customers in Erie County were without power as of Tuesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us. In a statement released yesterday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced that she submitted a request to President Biden for a Federal Emergency Declaration for Erie and Genesee Counties. Hochul asked people to avoid travel to counties that are still affected by the winter storm and to follow local travel advisories.