The storm that has been battering much of the central and northeastern United States for the past week continues its destructive pace. As of Monday afternoon, there have been 50 deaths reported nationwide. The area surrounding Buffalo, N.Y. has been one of the hardest hit, with 28 deaths.
Kathy Hochul, New York's newly elected governor, called it the worst storm ever to hit the area and has asked for federal assistance to help the public:
We will continue to work around the clock with local leaders to respond to this historic storm. I’ve been speaking to @WhiteHouse about critical federal assistance to help our communities recover.
We will continue to work around the clock with local leaders to respond to this historic storm.
I’ve been speaking to @WhiteHouse about critical federal assistance to help our communities recover.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 25, 2022
As of Thursday, 43 inches of snow had fallen in the Buffalo area alone, leaving some people locked out of their vehicles for more than two days. The National Weather Service reported that nine more inches could fall by Tuesday.
Power outages and flight cancellations
The storm left nearly one million people without power, and conditions prevented emergency teams from reaching certain areas to provide assistance. In view of this situation, President Joe Biden is prepared to declare a state of emergency due to a natural disaster:
I spoke with Governor Kathy Hochul to get an update on the extreme winter weather hitting New York. We stand ready to make sure they have the resources they need to get through this. My heart is with those who lost loved ones this holiday weekend. You are in my and Jill’s prayers.
According to the FlightAware tracking site, more than 2,000 flights were canceled in the northeast region of the country. In addition, due to sub-zero temperatures, many roads froze over. Authorities have asked citizens to stay indoors and avoid moving around.
More travel impacts into Wednesday for the Northern Rockies. Watch for highly variable road conditions due to pass level snow and a wintry mix in the valleys. Allow extra travel time. Secondary roads may become treacherous. #mtwx #idwx pic.twitter.com/gG0kzjEM3C
— NWS Missoula (@NWSMissoula) December 26, 2022