Death Toll Rises to 63 in U.S. Winter Storm

Death Toll Rises to 63 in U.S. Winter Storm

Hard-hit Western New York was littered with abandoned cars and piles of snow several feet high after the Christmas blizzard.

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A vehicle is abandoned along a residential street on December 26, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.
A vehicle is abandoned along a residential street on December 26, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.
Photo: John Normile (Getty Images)

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.

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Feet of snow

Feet of snow

A man attempts to clear his driveway on December 26, 2022 in Hamburg, New York.
A man attempts to clear his driveway on December 26, 2022 in Hamburg, New York.
Photo: John Normile (Getty Images)
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Abandoned cars

Abandoned cars

A car is abandoned along Southwestern Boulevard on December 26, 2022 in West Seneca, New York.
A car is abandoned along Southwestern Boulevard on December 26, 2022 in West Seneca, New York.
Photo: John Normile (Getty Images)
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Plowing the streets

Plowing the streets

A loader clears snow on December 26, 2022 in West Seneca, New York.
A loader clears snow on December 26, 2022 in West Seneca, New York.
Photo: John Normile (Getty Images)
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Snowed in

Snowed in

A winter storm rolls through Western New York Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y.
A winter storm rolls through Western New York Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y.
Photo: Jeffrey T. Barnes (AP)
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Low visibility

Low visibility

A person clears snow as a winter storm rolls through Western New York Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y.
A person clears snow as a winter storm rolls through Western New York Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y.
Photo: Jeffrey T. Barnes (AP)
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Snow covered cars

Snow covered cars

A car sits immobile and blanketed in snow, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.
A car sits immobile and blanketed in snow, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Photo: Carolyn Thompson (AP)
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Blanketed streets

Blanketed streets

People move about the streets of the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
People move about the streets of the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Photo: Craig Ruttle (AP)
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Traversing the snow

Traversing the snow

Joseph McVay, left, and Sarah Guglielmi who live nearby, walk along a street in the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Joseph McVay, left, and Sarah Guglielmi who live nearby, walk along a street in the Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Photo: Craig Ruttle (AP)
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Covered roads

Covered roads

Kala Smith of Buffalo, N.Y., heads for a food store on Main St., not far from where she lives Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Kala Smith of Buffalo, N.Y., heads for a food store on Main St., not far from where she lives Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Photo: Craig Ruttle (AP)
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Snowpiles

Snowpiles

People walk from a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
People walk from a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Monday, Dec. 26, 2022, after a massive snow storm blanketed the city.
Photo: Craig Ruttle (AP)
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