Disasters & Accidents

Search efforts continue in Western New York after epic winter storm

New York, Dec 27 (EFE).- First responders and emergency services personnel remained at work Tuesday in Buffalo, New York, searching for people left trapped in vehicles or buildings by the upwards of 49 in (124 cm) of snow that fell on the region last weekend.

The death toll in the Buffalo area stands at 28 and is expected to grow as additional victims are found, and the “once in a generation” storm is blamed for 50 fatalities across the United States.

With as much as 5 in of additional snow predicted for Tuesday, residents of Buffalo and neighboring Lackawanna were still subject to an order barring driving except in case of emergency, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told EFE.

Electric utility National Grid said that it has 2,850 workers deployed and has restored power to most of the more than 100,000 homes and businesses that lost electricity during the storm.

President Joe Biden approved Monday night an emergency declaration for New York state that will expedite provision of federal assistance.

With the declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will take on responsibility for coordinating federal relief efforts.

The storm’s effects were felt from the Great Lakes region in the north to the Rio Grande River, which forms the border with Mexico.

More than 10,000 flights were canceled over the Christmas weekend and another 2,800 flights had been canceled by 8:00 am (1300 GMT) Tuesday, according to the FlightAware website. EFE jfu/dr

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