The nationwide death toll neared 50 after a ferocious winter storm brought subfreezing temperatures, trapped hundreds in their homes and buried Buffalo, New York, under 4 feet of snow.
From the Weather Channel:
More than two dozen people died in western New York as Winter Storm Elliott hit the area, dumping feet of snow and causing hazardous blizzard conditions, particularly in the city of Buffalo. Snow continues in the region on Tuesday and is expected to end later in the day.
Erie County confirmed 28 deaths directly related to the storm. Some of the deceased were found in cars stuck in the brutal weather, while others were trapped in their homes, became disoriented while walking in the storm or died of cardiac events while blowing or shoveling snow. The city received nearly 50 inches of snow in the storm.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said 18 bodies were recovered in the city of Buffalo; most were found by police inside of vehicles.
A driving state of emergency remains in effect in Erie County and Poloncarz said police will start issuing summons to people driving around — “joyriding” — in violation of the driving ban. He said the city of Buffalo remains impassable.
A driving ban remained in effect for the city of Buffalo Tuesday, but Poloncarz said people were not heeding the ban and getting stuck, causing delays for emergency vehicles, snowplows and other large pieces of equipment trying to clear the streets of mountains of snow and abandoned vehicles.
Also from ABC:
Daniel Neaverth Jr., the Erie County commissioner of Emergency Services, said more than a dozen gas stations in the county have been reported inoperable “because the convenience side of them has been looted and the equipment inside has been rendered ineffective and thus the pumps for the fueling are ineffective.”Neaverth said the looting was hampering emergency vehicles from fueling up.
According to Accuweather:
As the winter storm barreled down on the country during one of the busiest travel times of the year, thousands of flights were canceled, leaving many stranded. On Monday, just over 4,000 flights were canceled and more than 9,000 flights had been delayed, according to FlightAware. According to the site, more than half of the canceled flights came from Southwest Airlines, which had a total of 2,497 cancellations.
More travel headaches came on Tuesday. By 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, flight cancellations were nearing 3,000, with the majority coming from Southwest Airlines. Never-ending lines were being reported at airports across the county on Tuesday. Thousands of pieces of luggage are waiting to be claimed in numerous airports as flight cancellations continue.