Western New York authorities announced Monday that a pre-Christmas blizzard that paralyzed most of the country, including the Buffalo area, had resulted in 27 deaths, making it the deadliest weather-related calamity in history.
The deceased have been discovered in their residences, cars, and snowbanks.
Some people lost their lives sledding.
Rescue and recovery efforts are still going on Monday, as the hurricane that devastated much of the nation is now responsible for at least 48 fatalities nationwide.
As the storm tore through western New York on Friday and Saturday, it left drivers stranded, cut out power, and prevented rescue workers from getting to people trapped in icy homes and stopped cars.
Thousands of homes have been in the dark due to a lack of power, some of which were decorated with unlit holiday displays and large snowdrifts that Monday almost buried cars.
Because the enormous storm knocked out electricity to tens of thousands of homes and businesses and locked some inhabitants inside their homes, more deaths are predicted to result from it.
There was extreme weather from the Great Lakes in Canada to the Rio Grande near the Mexican border.
Temperatures plunged well below average from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, and around 60% of Americans were subject to some winter weather advisory or warning.
The National Weather Service predicted the cold air would depart from “most of the eastern half of the United States” on Sunday.
Hurricane-force winds and snowfall in Buffalo immobilized emergency response attempts and created whiteout conditions.
According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, nearly every fire engine in the city was left stranded on Saturday.
On Sunday, she pleaded with residents to observe the continued traffic ban.
The Buffalo Niagara International Airport had 43 inches (1.1 meters) of snow, according to the National Weather Service, at 7 a.m. Sunday.
According to officials, the airport will be closed until Tuesday morning.
Forecasters predicted an additional 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 centimeters) of snow was possible in some regions through early Monday morning, with wind gusts of 40 mph present.
Snow was swirling down untreated and impassable streets (64 kph). There were two “isolated” incidences of looting during the storm, according to police reports from Sunday night.
As a result of emergency personnel being unable to reach them in time to treat their medical issues, two people died Friday in their suburban Cheektowaga, New York, homes.
Including six fatalities in Buffalo, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz reported an additional ten deaths during the storm and cautioned that there might be more.