Buffalo (US), December 25
A frigid winter storm killed at least 18 people as it swept across the country, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses and leaving millions of people on edge about the possibility of Christmas Eve blackouts.
The storm unleashed its full fury on Buffalo, New York, with hurricane-force winds causing whiteout conditions. Emergency response efforts were paralysed, and the city’s international airport was shut down.
Across the US, officials have attributed deaths to exposure, car crashes, a falling tree limb and other effects of the storm. At least three people died in the Buffalo area, including two who suffered medical emergencies in their homes and couldn’t be saved because emergency crews were unable to reach them amid historic blizzard conditions.
Deep snow, single-digit temperatures and day-old power outages sent Buffalo residents scrambling Saturday to get out of their houses to anywhere that had heat. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the Buffalo Niagara International Airport would be closed through Monday morning and almost every fire truck in the city was stranded in the snow.