The extreme weather has not let go of North America yet, with fears the storm that has affected Buffalo is not over and there is a “potent surge of moisture” threatening to bring flash floods to the Pacific Northwest and California regions on Tuesday.
Parts of the US could see another 12 inches of snow after days of devastating blizzards that have caused chaos across North America – as New York’s governor warned: “We know that the storm is coming back.”
The storm has caused at least 57 deaths in the US, with a further four people killed in Canada after a bus rolled over on icy roads in British Columbia.
In the US, 28 of the deaths were in the state of New York, most of them in Erie County, where the main city Buffalo has been hit hard.
President Joe Biden has authorised federal support for New York state, where tens of thousands of people have been left without power in the storm.
But temperatures have plummeted below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, with those in places like Jackson, Mississippi, being left with no water due to burst frozen pipes.
NBC News reported that in Buffalo desperate residents flooded Facebook groups seeking help.
One person asked for spare disposable nappies for twin infants, and another for medicine for a sick toddler. Several people made urgent requests for formula milk for babies.
One Buffalo resident with four small children wrote: “Running really low on food, been stuck in our house… Slightly starting to panic when I looked outside and seen it snowing more.”
Police in the city said on Sunday evening there were “isolated” instances of looting.
Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz described the blizzard as “the worst storm probably in our lifetime”, warning: “This is not the end yet.”
He said some people had been stranded in their cars for more than two days, with emergency services struggling against the terrible weather to reach those in need of help.
On Monday, she called the storm “one for the ages”, adding that it and another big snowstorm just over a month ago had brought almost as much snow as the area would expect during the whole winter.
People who left their cars in search of warmth and safety were now trying to find them again, many of the vehicles having been buried under snow.
The Buffalo area was seeing between 2 to 3 inches of snow an hour, with it reaching as much as 2ft deep in Jefferson and northern Lewis counties, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. At Buffalo Airport, the snow had reached nearly 50 inches (1.27 metres) deep on Monday morning.
The NWS said the weather was proving particularly deadly because of the low temperatures and even lower wind chills which were proving dangerous for travellers who become stranded or people who work outside.
Source: Sky News