As savagely cold temperatures grip a million Americans, 50 people die and 200K are rendered helpless.

winter storm

image via  The New York Times

A bitter winter storm that swept across the nation killed at least 50 people, cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, and put millions on edge about possible blackouts on Christmas Eve.

Intense snowfall and bitter cold gripped parts of the eastern United States on Christmas Day, putting millions of Americans in danger and causing at least 31 weather-related deaths.

A crisis was developing in Buffalo, located in western New York, where a blizzard had trapped the city and prevented emergency services from reaching high-impact areas. The vehicles parked along the sides of the roads are shocking, and it feels like you’re entering a war zone “Buffalo native and New York governor Kathy Hochul described the life-threatening conditions caused by eight-foot (2.4-meter) snow drifts and power outages. According to Hochul, residents are still dealing with a “hazardous life-threatening situation” as of Sunday evening “and advised anyone in that area to remain indoors.

image via www.nbcnews.com

On Christmas morning, more than 200,000 people in several eastern states awoke without power, and many more had their travel plans for the holiday disrupted, even though the five-day storm that brought blizzard conditions and fierce winds was beginning to diminish. The weekend’s severe weather left residents in homes covered in ice and snow and stranded holiday travelers with thousands of flights canceled. It also sent wind chill temperatures below freezing in all 48 contiguous US states.

Nine states have reported 31 confirmed weather-related fatalities, including four in Colorado who likely died from exposure and at least 12 in New York, where officials warned the toll would probably rise. Authorities described historically hazardous conditions in the frequently snow-covered Buffalo area, including hours-long whiteouts and bodies found in cars and under snow banks as rescuers struggled to find the people who needed help. The lakeside metropolis’ international airport is still closed until Tuesday, and driving is still prohibited throughout the entirety of Erie County. Hochul said that the brutality had surpassed the area’s previous historic snowstorm of 1977 in “intensity, the longevity, and the ferocity of the winds.” He added that it would be remembered for generations as the “blizzard of ’22.”

image via Daily Mail

Some residents were not expected to get power back until Tuesday due to frozen electric substations; one frozen substation was reportedly covered in 18 feet of snow, according to a senior county official. The situation is “just so bad,”

The Great Lakes region of western New York was still experiencing blizzard conditions as of Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, with “additional snow accumulations of 2 to 3 feet through tonight.”

One couple in Buffalo, across the border from Canada, told AFP on Saturday that they would not be making the 10-minute drive to visit their family for Christmas because the roads were completely impassable.

It’s difficult because the circumstances are so bad… Many fire departments don’t even dispatch trucks to respond to calls, “40-year-old Rebecca Bortolin said

For millions, a worsening travel nightmare was in full force.

According to flight tracking website Flightaware.com, the storm, one of the fiercest in decades, forced the cancellation of more than 2,400 US flights on Sunday, in addition to the 3,500 flights canceled on Saturday and the nearly 6,000 flights canceled on Friday.

On Christmas Day, travelers remained stranded or delayed at airports, including those in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, and New York.

Some of the busiest transportation routes in the country, including the cross-country Interstate 70, had to be temporarily shut down due to road ice and white-out conditions.

Even as the country entered what is typically its busiest travel season of the year, drivers were being advised not to hit the roads.

Multiple power providers are pleading with millions of people to cut back on their usage in order to lessen rolling blackouts in places like North Carolina and Tennessee as a result of the extreme weather’s strain on the nation’s electricity grids.

According to tracker poweroutage.us, nearly 1.7 million customers were without electricity at one point on Saturday in the icy cold.

By Sunday night, the number had significantly decreased, but more than 70,000 customers in eastern states were still without power.

A Saturday bus rollover in British Columbia, Canada, that was thought to be brought on by icy roads resulted in four fatalities and 53 hospitalizations, two of which were still in critical condition this Sunday.

In British Columbia, Canada, a bus rollover on Saturday left four people dead and 53 people hospitalized, including two who were still in critical condition early on Sunday. It is thought that the cause of the bus rollover was icy roads.

In the meantime, hundreds of thousands of people in Ontario and Quebec were left without power, numerous flights in major cities were canceled, and the passenger train service between Toronto and Ottawa was suspended.