Officials in hard-hit New York state area say situation remains dangerous as crews work to rescue people, clear roads.
The death toll from a devastating winter blizzard that left much of the United States in a deep freeze has risen to at least 25 in a hard-hit region of western New York state, authorities said, as tens of thousands remain without power.
During a news conference on Monday, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz said at least 25 people had died as a result of the storm, which pummeled the area during the Christmas holiday weekend.
list of 3 items
end of list
The entire county, which includes the city of Buffalo and is home to approximately 950,000 people, remained under a state of emergency, Poloncarz told reporters. He added that a driving ban also is still in place for Buffalo because the city is “impassable in most areas”.
“This is a horrible situation,” he said, explaining that storm-related deaths increased by 12 overnight, including cases of people who were found in snow banks or in their cars, or who died from cardiac events while ploughing or blowing snow.
“The ferocity of the storm was worse than the blizzard of ’77,” said Poloncarz, referring to a three-day storm that killed nearly 30 people decades ago.