At least 28 people have died in New York so far as state officials say deadly winter storms trapped some in cars for more than two days.
Erie County — including the city of Buffalo — has seen up to 40 inches of snow in some areas, with nine more expected by Tuesday night. The historic and deadly winter storms are a result of a “bomb cyclone” that brought heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures across the northeastern U.S. throughout the holiday weekend.
The city of Buffalo has confirmed 28 deaths so far, with Erie County Executive Mark Poloncartz suggesting that additional deaths are likely as temporary morgues fill. A driving ban is currently in place, with one state official claiming that military police are being brought in to help manage traffic control, according to BBC.
I spoke with @GovKathyHochul 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. pic.twitter.com/Lt6eZ1YJR5
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 26, 2022
Despite the driving ban over the weekend in Erie County, around 500 motorists were stranded in frigid, deadly conditions, some for over two days. On Saturday, Poloncartz told CNN he estimated “hundreds” more could still be trapped, as snow continues to fall in Buffalo through Tuesday night.
Emergency services are struggling to reach stranded motorists in historically dangerous conditions. In many cases, emergency vehicles become stuck themselves as they attempt to respond to calls for help or encounter roadblocks of buried, abandoned vehicles along the way.
Guess the weather hitting non-blue states was all fine.
Funny, when COVID hit Trump sent hospital ships to blue states.
Yet you can’t be bothered to help out red states.
— Ross Schumann (@RossSchumann) December 26, 2022
On Monday, President Biden tweeted that he had spoken with buffalo-native NY Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), pledging the “resources they need to get through this.” Some on Twitter were quick to criticize the commander-in-chief, noting that blue states weren’t the only ones impacted.
New York isn’t the only state reporting deadly winter storms as a result of the bomb cyclone. Across the nation, at least 57 people have died so far according to a report by The Times. In Ohio, a 46-car pileup caused by severe winter storms claimed the lives of a pregnant mother, a teenager, and at least two other people on Friday.
Hazards from the storm reach beyond the roadways. More than 250,000 people remain without power as a result of winter storms, with 60% of the U.S. experiencing some type of winter storm advisory over the weekend.