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U.S. Winter storm update: ‘blizzard of the century’, has so far killed more than 57 people across the United States, particularly in Buffalo.

The severe winter storm, or ‘blizzard of the century’, has so far killed more than 57 people across the United States, particularly in Buffalo.  Thousands of flights were canceled due to strong winds and sub-zero temperatures. 

U.S. Winter storm update: 'blizzard of the century', has so far killed more than 57 people across the United States, particularly in Buffalo.

A relentless storm that officials called the ‘blizzard of the century’ brought Western New York to a standstill over the Christmas weekend. 

So far 38 people have died in New York due to this storm.  and at least 57 across the United States. Rescue efforts continue to dig out the snow-covered area around Buffalo, local officials said Monday. 

The death toll from the devastating storm is expected to rise as snowfall continues.  To cover Erie County, roads were left impassable in many areas, including Buffalo, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at a news conference. 

Poloncarz said.  “We’re not there.”  Snow was expected in Erie County by Tuesday afternoon.  Across the country, temperatures have plummeted and heavy snowfall has hampered travel and left people stranded in their homes. 

At least 57 people were killed as of Monday morning as the storm swept from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande on the Mexican border. 

Deaths were reported in 12 states: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

Poloncarz said the Erie County medical examiner’s office determined 38 deaths were directly related to the avalanche.  Many died of heart attacks while shoveling or blowing snow, he said. 

Others were found dead in cars.  At least one person has died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Niagara County, he said.  At least 18 people have died in Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown said Monday afternoon.

Some of those deaths were not included in Erie County’s official count, Poloncarz said, adding that the county is working to confirm them. 

Poloncarz said the storm’s ferocity was unlike anything seen in the region.  “It snowballed with a vengeance,” he said.

“This is a generational storm,” he said, and the county has yet to begin assessing the “full toll.”  Monday morning, a “heavy lake effect snow belt” was dumping 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour in the Buffalo area, accumulated 6 to 12 inches and 1 to 2 feet in Jefferson and northern Lewis counties, the National Weather Service said in a 6:43 a.m. bulletin. 

The “lake effect” occurs when cold air moves over and above frozen ground.  Warm lake water transfers moisture and heat to the lower atmosphere.  The air will then become cloudy, resulting in heavy snow.

“We know the storm is coming back,” New York Gov. Cathy Hochul said Monday afternoon, calling the snowfall “one for the ages.”  

It says it will ease over the next few days, but the advice remains to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
 An estimated 250,000 homes and businesses experienced blackouts over the weekend — though power was steadily restored.

Storm-related deaths were reported in Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas and Colorado.  The temperature in South Florida dropped so low that the iguanas froze and fell from the trees.

The western US state of Montana was hardest hit by the cold, with temperatures dropping to -50F (-45C).  In Canada, the central provinces of Ontario and Quebec, The storm hit the northeast. 

Mayor Steve Ferguson declared a state of emergency along Lake Ontario in Prince Edward County, Ontario, and said the road had to be plowed due to the risk of it getting stuck.

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