We are all dreaming of a white Christmas, and while this year most of did not get any snow, some parts of the US got way too much! Over the Christmas weekend, 37 people have died due to weather-related incidents as a brutal winter storm hit US.
Buffalo, in New York state, was the hardest hit, as per reports snow has fallen at the rate of 5-7 centimeters an hour, while on Sunday 16% of residents had no electricity. “This will go down in history as the most devastating storm” in Buffalo, said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The US National Weather Service warned that “much of the eastern United States will remain in a deep freeze through Monday before a moderating trend sets in on Tuesday.” Even though a road travel ban was imposed for all of Erie County since Friday, hundreds of people were stranded in their vehicles and needed to be rescued. “It is (like) going to a warzone, and the vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking,” said gov. Hochul. Rescue teams, fire trucks and ambulances are also stuck in snow, “and we had to send rescue missions to rescue the rescuers,” County Chief Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
Authorities have asked residents for help, asking those who “have a snow mobile and are willing to help” to call a hotline for instructions. “It is not a matter of resources – bodies and equipment – it is a matter of mobility and access,” Hochul said, noting that “no matter how many emergency vehicles we have, they cannot get through the conditions as we speak.”
The storm forced the cancellation of more than 6,000 flights within, into or out of the US over the Christmas weekend, and according to tracking site FlightAware, more than 1,300 US flights had already been canceled just hours into Monday. The neighbouring country, Canada was also affected by the severe storm, in Ontario and Quebec at least 140,000 homes have no electricity, while many flights are also being canceled.