Beautiful Virgin Islands

Monday, Mar 04, 2024

Death Count Passes 50 In US "Blizzard Of The Century"

Death Count Passes 50 In US "Blizzard Of The Century"

The death count rose to more than 50 after officials confirmed three more fatalities in western New York's Erie County, the epicenter of the crisis.
The monster storm that killed dozens in the United States over the Christmas weekend continued to inflict misery on New York state and air travelers nationwide Tuesday, as stories emerged of families trapped for days during the "blizzard of the century."

The number of deaths attributed to the winter storm rose to more than 50 after officials confirmed three more fatalities in western New York's Erie County, the epicenter of the crisis.

The police department "expects that number to rise," tweeted Byron Brown, mayor of the lakeside county's biggest city Buffalo -- which has been paralyzed for five days by chest-deep snow banks and power outages.

Kathy Hochul, New York state's governor and a Buffalo native, described the storm aftermath as resembling "a war zone."

"Certainly it is the blizzard of the century," Hochul told reporters Monday.

As temperatures plummeted, commuters and some residents fleeing their freezing homes became trapped on highways, unable to be rescued.

The problem was compounded when some areas were rendered inaccessible to ambulances for dozens of hours and snowplows were unable to perform their job due to the ferocity of the storm -- necessitating rescuers being rescued in certain cases.

The family of one 22-year-old Buffalo resident, Anndel Taylor, said she died in her car after getting stuck on her way home from work.

A video sent by Taylor and posted by her sister shows her vehicle covered up to its windows in snow.

Emergency responders, who themselves became stuck attempting to rescue her, found her dead 18 hours later, possibly due to carbon monoxide poisoning, her family in North Carolina told local TV station WSOC-TV.

One father described being trapped in his vehicle on the streets of Buffalo with his four young children for 11 hours before being rescued, according to The New York Times.

Zila Santiago, 30, said he kept his engine running to provide some warmth and fed his children some juice found in his trunk.

They were finally rescued at dawn by a passing snowplow.

In a city well-accustomed to snowstorms, some residents were blaming a travel ban they said was enacted too late on Friday morning as contributing to the mayhem.

Buffalo resident Mark Eguliar remained at his workplace, where he was stuck for more than 40 hours.

"Too many people were driving, too many people were not listening to the ban, so the cars were blocking all the roads, making it a lot harder to get home," he said.

Flight chaos

The perfect storm of fierce snow squalls, howling wind and sub-zero temperatures forced the cancellation of thousands of flights in recent days, including around 5,900 on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to tracking site FlightAware.com.

Most of the cancellations on Tuesday and Wednesday were at Southwest Airlines, which pulled more than 60 percent of its flights due to cascading logistics issues, earning it a rebuke from the US government.

The Department of Transportation tweeted that it was "concerned by Southwest's unacceptable rate of cancellations" and would examine if the company was "complying with its customer service plan," while the US Senate committee overseeing aviation said it would look into causes that "go beyond weather."

In a video statement on Tuesday, Southwest CEO Bob Jordan said he was "truly sorry" for the disruptions and that a "massive effort to stabilize the airline" was under way.

He also noted that he had spoken with transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg about the issues, and pledged to "double down on our already existing plans to upgrade systems for these extreme circumstances so that we never again face what's happening right now."

'Worst Christmas'

US President Joe Biden on Monday approved an emergency declaration for New York state, freeing up funds to help it recover from the disaster.

Buffalo's international airport remains closed until Wednesday morning and a driving ban remained in effect for the city.

"You can absolutely go out and walk to check on neighbors, go to open stores, etc. But do not drive," tweeted the county executive, Mark Poloncarz.

Longtime Buffalo resident Bill Sherlock told AFP that his home had received about four feet of snow, but that he was lucky to have had functioning electricity and food.

Those less fortunate "probably had the worst Christmas of their lives," said the 38-year-old attorney -- mindful that some homes in his neighborhood have had no power since Friday.

Sherlock said he may wait another day before leaving home for the first time in nearly a week: "We're not going anywhere unless we have to."

Mayor Brown told CNN that multiple looting incidents were reported in the city over Christmas weekend and eight arrests had been made.

The National Weather Service forecast a respite of warmer temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) by the weekend, although officials warned that melting snow could result in minor flooding.

The extreme weather over the weekend sent temperatures to below freezing in all mainland US states, including in Texas along the Mexico border where some arriving migrants have struggled to find shelter.

At one point on Saturday, nearly 1.7 million customers were without electricity in the biting cold, according to tracker PowerOutage.us.

Road ice and whiteout conditions also led to the temporary closure of some of the nation's busiest transport routes, including part of the cross-country Interstate 70 highway.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
0:00
0:00
Close
Unelected PM of the UK holds an emergency meeting because a candidate got voted in… which he says is a threat to democracy…
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Rob Schneider explains California reparations legislation.
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Who knew badminton could get so intense?
BVI Freedom Song
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
London's Iconic British Telecom Tower Sold To Become Hotel
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Russia Claims UK Cultural Agency Spied for Ukraine
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Hello Dolly
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Yes He Can
New video
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Unforgettable
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
The Lord's Prayer
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Siyahamba
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
UK court to hear Assange's final appeal against extradition to the US, where he faces charges related to his journalistic work—the publication of a classified video in 2010 that exposed US war crimes against humanity.
Ramblin' Rose
About 50-60% kids either chose to be YouTuber or influencer
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
A viral video of Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce lying on a Canberra footpath is celebrated by his media mates.
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
European Countries React to Navalny's Death by Summoning Russian Diplomats
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
English farmers to be offered ‘largest ever’ grant scheme amid food security concerns
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
Cameron government knew Post Office ditched Horizon IT investigation
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
EU Vows To Hold Putin "Accountable" After Meeting Alexei Navalny's Wife
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
The EU Initiates Naval Mission to Defend Red Sea Trade Routes
Common, John Legend - Glory
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
Brazil's Lula Likens Gaza Operation to Holocaust, Israel Says "Red Line" Crossed
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Microsoft-backed OpenAI valued at $80bn after company completes deal
BVI Freedom Song
‘Alexei would want to tell Russia not to give up fighting’
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Rwandan Footballer's Dismissal Sparks Concerns Over UK Asylum Plan
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Whisky Challenges China's Baijiu Market During New Year Celebrations
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Putin Critic Alexei Navalny's "Killers" Refusing To Hand Over Body, Say Allies
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Hello Dolly
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
20 Tech Giants Sign Effort To Fight AI Election Interference Across Globe
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Joe Biden Accuses Putin of Causing Navalny's Death
Yes He Can
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
Unforgettable
Julian Assange's Wife Warns of His Death if Extradited to US
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
The Lord's Prayer
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Siyahamba
In Britain Homeowners are receiving CPO’s (Compulsory Purchase Orders) so their homes can be redistributed to migrants
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×