Dec 26 (Reuters) – A powerful blizzard that paralyzed western New York over the Christmas weekend killed at least 25 people, Erie County officials said on Monday, as road and utility crews spent a long day digging through the snow around Buffalo. .
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters at a Monday morning news conference that the number of storm-related deaths rose to 12 overnight, including cases of people who died in ice, in their cars or from heart ailments. Plowing or blowing snow.
More deaths have been reported, Polancarz said, but the county medical examiner is trying to determine if they are directly attributable to the weather.
The worst blizzard in 45 years formed late Friday and battered Western New York over the Christmas holiday weekend. It covered an arctic freeze and a winter storm front that stretched across most of the United States to the Mexican border for days.
At least 50 people have died in US weather-related incidents since late last week, according to NBC News.
One of the hardest hit areas is the Great Buffalo area, located on the edge of Lake Erie near the Canadian border.
The chill combined with howling winds and heavy “lake-effect” snow — the result of moisture from cold air moving over warm lake water — created a storm that would go down in history as the “Blizzard of ’22,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. .”
The governor called it a “once-in-a-lifetime” weather disaster, ranking as the worst winter storm to hit Buffalo, New York state’s second-largest city, after a blizzard in 1977 killed nearly 30 people.
Reporting by Gabriella Porter, Kanishka Singh and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chisu Nomiyama
Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.