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At least 49 people have died after a winter storm, snow is approaching

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The death toll from a snowstorm in the Buffalo area has risen to 27, authorities said Monday, as the region endures one of its worst weather-related disasters in its history. Much of the rest of the United States was hit by harsh winter conditions.

The dead in the vicinity of Buffalo were found in cars, houses and on snowdrifts. Some died clearing snow. The storm, which has battered much of the country, is now believed to be responsible for at least 49 deaths across the country, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing Monday.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz described the blizzard as “the worst storm of our lifetime” and warned that the death toll could rise. Some people, he noted, have been sitting in cars for more than two days.

“It’s just a terrible situation where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But this is not the end,” he said on Monday.

Scientists said that the warming of the earth may have contributed to the intensity of the storm. That’s because the atmosphere can carry more water vapor, which acts as fuel, said Mark Serrez, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The National Weather Service said Monday that up to 9 inches of snow could fall in some areas by Tuesday.

A blizzard swept through western New York on Friday and Saturday, grounding motorists, knocking out power and preventing emergency services from reaching residents in cold homes and stuck cars.

With many grocery stores in the Buffalo area closed and curfews in effect, some people have taken to social media to ask for donations of food and diapers.

The extreme weather extended from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the Mexican border. About 60% of the US population was under some kind of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures fell sharply below normal from the Rocky Mountains east to the Appalachians.

About 2,085 domestic and international flights were canceled as of Monday around noon EDT, according to tracking website FlightAware. Southwest Airlines canceled 1,253 flights – nearly a third of its scheduled flights and about five times more than any other major US carrier, the website said. An email sent to Southwest was not immediately returned, and the Dallas-based airline had not updated its website about the conditions as of Saturday.

According to FlightAware, airports across the US are experiencing cancellations and delays, including Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago.

However, relief is coming this week, and the forecast calls for a slow rise in temperatures, said Ashton Robinson Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Nothing like what we had last week,” he said, adding that bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm — weakened. It developed near the Great Lakes, stirring up a blizzard, including strong winds and snow.

New York Gov. Cathy Hatchul said nearly every fire truck in Buffalo was stuck Saturday, and on Sunday she asked people to obey a permanent driving ban in the region. As of 10 a.m. Monday, the total snow at Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 49.2 inches (1.25 meters), the National Weather Service said. Officials said the airport would remain closed until Tuesday morning.

Two people died in their homes in suburban Cheektowaga, New York, on Friday when emergency crews couldn’t get to them in time to treat their illnesses.

Freezing temperatures and power outages left Buffalo residents scrambling to get somewhere warm amid what Khachul called the city’s longest blizzard.

In the neighboring house, said Shahida Muhammad WKBW that her 1-year-old son’s ventilator went off due to a power outage. She and the baby’s father were manually breathing from Friday until Sunday when rescuers saw her desperate social media posts and came to their aid.

Erie County officials said they went to the family’s home Saturday, but no one came to the door. Muhammad said they were there, but thankfully her son is doing well despite the hardships. She called him a “fighter.”

The storm knocked out power in communities from Maine to Seattle. The mid-Atlantic carrier urged its 65 million customers to conserve energy during Saturday’s freeze.

Storm-related deaths have been reported across the country, from six motorists killed in crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky to a woman who fell through the ice on the Wisconsin River to a deadly fire at a homeless camp in Kansas.

In Jackson, Mississippi, city officials announced Christmas to residents now you need to boil drinking water due to water lines breaking in freezing temperatures.

Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University, compared one weather phenomenon to a “bat” and the climate to an “average.”

“It’s hard to say,” Serrez said. “But the bones are a bit loaded right now? Of course.”

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At least 49 people have died after a winter storm, snow is approaching

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The death toll from a snowstorm in the Buffalo area has risen to 27, authorities said Monday, as the region endures one of its worst weather-related disasters in its history. Much of the rest of the United States was hit by harsh winter conditions.

The dead in the vicinity of Buffalo were found in cars, houses and on snowdrifts. Some died clearing snow. The storm, which has battered much of the country, is now believed to be responsible for at least 49 deaths across the country, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing Monday.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz described the blizzard as “the worst storm of our lifetime” and warned that the death toll could rise. Some people, he noted, have been sitting in cars for more than two days.

“It’s just a terrible situation where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But this is not the end,” he said on Monday.

Scientists said that the warming of the earth may have contributed to the intensity of the storm. That’s because the atmosphere can carry more water vapor, which acts as fuel, said Mark Serrez, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The National Weather Service said Monday that up to 9 inches of snow could fall in some areas by Tuesday.

A blizzard swept through western New York on Friday and Saturday, grounding motorists, knocking out power and preventing emergency services from reaching residents in cold homes and stuck cars.

With many grocery stores in the Buffalo area closed and curfews in effect, some people have taken to social media to ask for donations of food and diapers.

The extreme weather extended from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the Mexican border. About 60% of the US population was under some kind of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures fell sharply below normal from the Rocky Mountains east to the Appalachians.

About 2,085 domestic and international flights were canceled as of Monday around noon EDT, according to tracking website FlightAware. Southwest Airlines canceled 1,253 flights – nearly a third of its scheduled flights and about five times more than any other major US carrier, the website said. An email sent to Southwest was not immediately returned, and the Dallas-based airline had not updated its website about the conditions as of Saturday.

According to FlightAware, airports across the US are experiencing cancellations and delays, including Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago.

However, relief is coming this week, and the forecast calls for a slow rise in temperatures, said Ashton Robinson Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Nothing like what we had last week,” he said, adding that bomb cyclone — when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm — weakened. It developed near the Great Lakes, stirring up a blizzard, including strong winds and snow.

New York Gov. Cathy Hatchul said nearly every fire truck in Buffalo was stuck Saturday, and on Sunday she asked people to obey a permanent driving ban in the region. As of 10 a.m. Monday, the total snow at Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 49.2 inches (1.25 meters), the National Weather Service said. Officials said the airport would remain closed until Tuesday morning.

Two people died in their homes in suburban Cheektowaga, New York, on Friday when emergency crews couldn’t get to them in time to treat their illnesses.

Freezing temperatures and power outages left Buffalo residents scrambling to get somewhere warm amid what Khachul called the city’s longest blizzard.

In the neighboring house, said Shahida Muhammad WKBW that her 1-year-old son’s ventilator went off due to a power outage. She and the baby’s father were manually breathing from Friday until Sunday when rescuers saw her desperate social media posts and came to their aid.

Erie County officials said they went to the family’s home Saturday, but no one came to the door. Muhammad said they were there, but thankfully her son is doing well despite the hardships. She called him a “fighter.”

The storm knocked out power in communities from Maine to Seattle. The mid-Atlantic carrier urged its 65 million customers to conserve energy during Saturday’s freeze.

Storm-related deaths have been reported across the country, from six motorists killed in crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky to a woman who fell through the ice on the Wisconsin River to a deadly fire at a homeless camp in Kansas.

In Jackson, Mississippi, city officials announced Christmas to residents now you need to boil drinking water due to water lines breaking in freezing temperatures.

Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University, compared one weather phenomenon to a “bat” and the climate to an “average.”

“It’s hard to say,” Serrez said. “But the bones are a bit loaded right now? Of course.”

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