Buffalo blizzard – live: At least 27 killed as more snow forecast on Tuesday

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‘Dangerous situation’ in Buffalo as storm kills dozens across US

One of the coldest Christmas storms in modern memory has left at least 56 people dead across the United States.

Winter storm Elliott’s icy bite saw temperatures plunge to record lows in parts of Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, and wrought havoc on Christmas travel plans.

Authorities in western New York reported 27 deaths in the Buffalo area alone, which has been the worst affected. Several people were found dead in their cars after becoming stranded in whiteout conditions.

New York governor Kathy Hochul, a native of Buffalo, was stunned by what she saw, saying: “It is [like] going to a war zone, and the vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking.”

More than 19,643 US airline flights were delayed and at least 5,779 were cancelled, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.

Approximately 20,000 flights were cancelled across the long weekend, leaving thousands of travellers stranded at airports over Christmas.

Powerful winds stretched from the Canadian border south to the Rio Grande, Gulf Coast, and central Florida, and from the Pacific Northwest to the Eastern Seaboard. The Wind chill drove temperatures to -40C in some parts of western states.

Governor Hochul said the storm will “go down in history as the most devastating” ever to hit the state.


At least 27 killed in New York’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime blizzard’

At least 27 people died in one of the worst weather-related disasters in New York as a strong blizzard paralysed the region over the Christmas weekend.

Up to nine more inches of snow could fall in some areas of western New York through Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 10:00


Buffalo families struggle for food and water after once-in-a-lifetime’ blizzard upends lives

Hundreds of families in western New York are struggling to find food, medicine and water after a historic snowstorm blocked roads, and cut off electricity and water supply.

Major supermarkets and pharmacies announced the temporary shutdown of stores after a fierce snowstorm dumped 4 feet of snowfall since storm Elliott took shape on Friday.

“There are no stores open. It’s whatever you can grab,” Scott McCandless, 54, who lives in Orchard Park, a suburb southeast of Buffalo, told NBC.

He said he gave up after driving at least 7 miles in his car to find nothing open as groceries dwindled at home.

(Mostofa Ahsan via REUTERS)

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 09:00


What is a ‘bomb cyclone’? US facing winter weather warning

An Arctic blast is sweeping the United States, impacting swathes of the country this holiday season with a miserable mix of dangerous cold, blinding snow squalls and flash freezing.

The powerful winter storm will produce widespread, disruptive and potentially crippling impacts across the central and eastern United States between now and Christmas Eve, the National Weather Service warned.

Forecasters are also warning of the potential for a “bomb cyclone” – but what does this mean?

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 08:00


Winter Storm Elliott death toll climbs to 56 as thousands still without power in -40 temperatures

The death toll from an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” storm that has wrought havoc across the United States rose to at least 56, with the Buffalo area of New York state being one of the hardest-hit places.

More than a million households were without power on Christmas Day according to poweroutage.us, while the travel plans of tens of thousands of people were disrupted by cancelled flights and dangerous roads.

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 07:16


Harrowing conditions for the stranded

Freezing conditions and power outages had Buffalonians scrambling to get to anywhere with heat amid what Hochul called the longest sustained blizzard conditions ever in the city. But with streets under a thick blanket of white, that wasn’t an option for people like Jeremy Manahan, who charged his phone in his parked car after almost 29 hours without electricity.

“There’s one warming shelter, but that would be too far for me to get to. I can’t drive, obviously, because I’m stuck,” Mr Manahan said. “And you can’t be outside for more than 10 minutes without getting frostbit.”

Ditjak Ilunga of Gaithersburg, Maryland, was on his way to visit relatives in Hamilton, Ontario, for Christmas with his daughters Friday when their SUV was trapped in Buffalo. Unable to get help, they spent hours with the engine running, buffeted by wind, and nearly buried in snow.

By 4am on Saturday, their fuel nearly gone, Mr Ilunga made a desperate choice to risk the howling storm to reach a nearby shelter. He carried six-year-old Destiny on his back while 16-year-old Cindy clutched their Pomeranian puppy, following his footprints through drifts.

“If I stay in this car I’m going to die here with my kids,” Mr Ilunga recalled thinking. He cried when the family walked through the shelter doors. “It’s something I will never forget in my life.”

Oliver O’Connell27 December 2022 07:00


Southwest Airlines suffer 70% flight cancelation as thousands stuck

Thousands of people were stranded at airports, faced delays and waited in queues as severe weather conditions snarled US commercial air traffic amid the holiday season.

Southwest airlines was one of the worst impacted as it cancelled nearly 70 per cent of the scheduled flights on Monday, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.

More than 3,800 US airline flights were cancelled yesterday, including 2,800 operated by Southwest, according to the flight tracking service FlightAware.

Delays were reported for more than 7,100 US flight departures and arrivals overall, with several hundred by Southwest.

“Challenges are impacting our customers and employees in a significant way that is unacceptable,” Southwest said in a statement, citing “consecutive days of extreme winter weather.”

The US Transportation Department said late yesterday it would examine the large number of Southwest Airlines cancelled and delayed flights in recent days to determine if they were in the airline’s control, calling them “unacceptable”.

Commercial airline traffic has been upended since last week as an Arctic blast coupled with a massive winter storm dubbed Elliott took shape over the Midwest and swept over much of the United States in the lead-up to the Christmas holiday weekend.

The resulting surge in cancellations and delays, coupled with long lines and missing luggage at airports, spoiled wintertime vacation plans for countless US airline customers during one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 06:30


Death toll climbs and flight delays worsen

The death toll from an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” storm that wrought havoc across the United States rose to at least 50 on Monday, with the Buffalo area of New York state, at the edge of Lake Erie near the Canadian border, one of the hardest-hit places.

Winter Storm Elliott brought temperatures as low as -50F (-45C) across a vast swathe of North America from the Great Lakes near Canada to Arizona.

Bevan Hurley reports on how events unfolded this weekend.

Oliver O’Connell27 December 2022 06:00


Looters ransack Buffalo stores amid snowstorm chaos

Local looters robbed businesses in Buffalo over the weekend as deadly blizzard conditions kept law enforcement stuck.

Buffalo mayor Byron Brown slammed looters for taking the opportunity of a disaster, saying “they are the lowest of the low” of the opportunistic crooks.

“I don’t know how these people can even live with themselves, how they can look at themselves in the mirror,” he said.

Visuals on local TV stations showed some people taking away boxes full of groceries from supermarkets with their windows smashed and merchandise damaged.

“People who are out looting when people are losing their lives in this harsh winter storm is just absolutely reprehensible,” Mr Brown said.

“They’re not looting foods and medicines, they’re just looting items that they want. So these aren’t even people in distress,” the mayor added.

“These are people who are taking advantage of a national disaster and the suffering of many in our community to take what they want.”

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 05:36


At least 56 people dead and 20,000 flights affected in winter storm

Brutal weather conditions brought by storm Elliott have claimed at least 56 lives across the US.

At least 28 people were dead in Buffalo in what was described as the most devastating snowstorm, turning the city into a war zone.

“This is a war with mother nature, and she has been hitting us with everything she has,” said Kathy Hochul, New York’s governor, on Monday.

“It is like going to a war zone, and the vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking.”

With snow continuing to fall on top of more than 4ft (1.2 meters) dumped on Buffalo since the blizzard took shape on Friday, New York’s second-largest city stood as ground zero for a storm the governor called an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” weather disaster.

US president Joe Biden issued a federal emergency declaration for the state of New York on Monday night, authorising US government assistance to bolster state and local recovery efforts, the White House announced.

Shweta Sharma27 December 2022 04:43


South Korean tour group taken in by New York couple after van got stranded in snow

After their passenger van got stranded in the snow, a South Korean tour group on their way to Niagara Falls ended up spending the weekend at the Williamsville, New York, home of Buffalo-area locals Alexander and Andrew Campagna.

The group of ten — seven women and three men— including a honeymooning couple, college students, a young girl and her parents, and the driver — took refuge with the Campagnas on Friday. A well-stocked fridge and fondness for Korean cuisine saw the group able to wait out the storm in the three-bedroom home.

One of the group, Yoseb Choi, 27, told The New York Times: “It was kind of like fate,” remarking on the luck of arriving at the Campagnas’ doorstep with their fully stocked kitchen and unhesitating hospitality.

He said the hosts were “the kindest people I have ever met”.

“We have enjoyed this so much,” Mr Campagna said, calling it a “unique blessing,” and adding that the experience has inspired the couple to plan a visit to South Korea.

“We will never forget this.”

Oliver O’Connell27 December 2022 04:00

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