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 December 27, 2022

Winter storm claims dozens of lives, Western New York hardest hit

The Associated Press reports that the recent winter storm that swept through the country has left at least 34 dead. 

This death toll, though, is expected to continue to rise.

The Associated Press refers to the storm as being "nearly unprecedented" in scope, stretching from Canada to the U.S.-Mexico border - from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande.

The National Weather Service has reported that around 60% of the U.S. population was placed under some kind of winter weather advisory or winter weather warning as a result of weather conditions - including significantly below-average temperatures.

One area of the country that was hit particularly hard was Buffalo, New York. What Buffalo and others in the Great Lakes area experienced is known as a "bomb cyclone," which is when atmospheric pressure drops quickly in a strong storm. This essentially results in blizzard conditions with heavy snow and winds.

These conditions, according to the Associated Press, were "paralyzing [to] emergency response efforts." According to the outlet, "New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said almost every fire truck in the city was stranded Saturday."

As a result, many people died from the conditions because they could not be rescued in time.

The Associate Press reports:

Two people died in their suburban Cheektowaga, New York, homes Friday when emergency crews could not reach them in time to treat their medical conditions. County Executive Mark Poloncarz 10 more people died in Erie County during the storm, including six in Buffalo, and warned there may be more dead.

The destruction caused by the storm, though, reached far beyond Buffalo, New York.

Reports indicate that as many as 1.7 million people throughout the U.S. had lost power during the storm.

The area that experienced the most power outages was the southeastern U.S. with over 700,000 outages. New England and the South experienced a little under 400,000 outages, and the Mid-Atlantic region saw about 228,000 outages.

By Sunday afternoon, the power had largely been restored in many of these places. The outages dropped from about 1.7 million at their peak to under 200,000.

The Associated Press reports:

In North Carolina, less than 6,500 customers had no power — down from a peak of 485,000. Across New England, power has been restored to tens of thousands with just under 83,000 people, mostly in Maine, still without it. In New York, about 34,000 households were still without power Sunday, including 26,000 in Erie County, where utility crews and hundreds of National Guard troops battled high winds and struggled with getting stuck in the snow.

As the weather conditions ease and rescue efforts continue, we will learn the full extent of the destruction caused by this massive winter storm.

Written By:
Oliver Winters

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