The winter storm that will go down in history as the Blizzard of 2022 has claimed the lives of 12 people in New York, the storm update briefing in Erie County on Christmas afternoon that New York Gov. Kathy Hochul attended has announced.
The briefing statement has also pointed out that more deaths are expected to be unveiled in the next six to 12 hours as the storm surpassed the scale of the Blizzard of ’77.
Of the 12 deaths that have been confirmed by the county health medical examiner, six were in Buffalo, three in Amherst, and three in Cheektowaga, with the County Executive Mark Poloncarz informing that the oldest victim of the storm was 93 and the youngest was 26.
The city of Buffalo, which is in Erie County, has been hit particularly hard in recent days, but people were urged not to go there to help since most of Buffalo is still impassable after ferocious extended blizzard conditions dumped 43 inches of snow and paralyzed the area.
President Biden and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul are yet to announce an official disaster declaration.
The National Weather Service said that going into the dangerously windy and white Christmas morning – as intense winter weather gripped most of the country- over 94 million people ranging from North Dakota to South Florida and from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, were under some sort of winter weather advisory or warning wind chill advisories, showing that the effects of the storm have hardly been limited to the northeast.
The brutal winter storm affected more than half the country and killed at least 34 people nationwide, and the death toll is only expected to rise since rescue and recovery workers are still trying to reach people stranded in their homes and cars by snow drifts.
To make the cold even worse, more than one million Americans woke up in the dark after suffering power outages that have the most devastating impact on tens of thousands of households that rely on electricity to heat their homes.
Starting on Monday, temperatures are expected to increase and may be at above-average levels by mid-week, according to Fox Weather.