Violent US blizzard leaves 26 dead, power outages; thousands of flights cancelled on Christmas Day -

26 March,

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Violent US blizzard leaves 26 dead, power outages; thousands of flights cancelled on Christmas Day

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A relentless winter storm brought Christmas Day danger and misery to millions of Americans on Sunday as intense snow and frigid cold gripped parts of the eastern United States, with weather-related deaths rising to at least 26.
A crisis situation was unfolding in Buffalo, in western New York, where a blizzard has left the city marooned, with emergency services unable to reach high impact areas.
The Buffalo storm is "a crisis of epic proportion" and "the worst of the worst," said New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a native of Buffalo, where eight-foot (2.4-meter) snow drifts against front doors and power outages in freezing temperatures have made for life-threatening conditions.
According to an NBC News tally, 28 people have died so far in weather-related incidents across the country.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the death toll from the storm had risen from three to seven overnight in the Buffalo region in far western New York, where snow on Sunday brought total accumulation to nearly four feet (1.2 metres).
Some of the four reported dead on Sunday morning were found in cars and some in snow banks, Poloncarz said, adding that the death count might still rise.
“This is not the Christmas any of us hoped for nor expected, but try to have as merry a Christmas as possible today,” Poloncarz said on Twitter on Sunday. “My deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters that she had been in touch with the White House and that the Biden administration would support the state’s request for a federal disaster declaration. “This will go down in history as Buffalo’s most devastating storm. This one is for the ages and we’re still in the middle of it,” Hochul said.


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