At least 62 people have died because of the weather in the United States. In Buffalo, where driving is still banned, a state official said that military police are being sent there to help manage traffic. During the emergency, there have been reports of theft in some parts of the city.
Because of the winter storm, thousands of flights have been canceled, including about 4,800 on Tuesday morning alone. There are thousands of people stuck at airports all over the country. Now, things should get better because it won't snow much on Tuesday and the weather is going to get a little warmer.
At a newsconference on Tuesday, officials in Erie County, New York, where Buffalo is located, said that the number of deaths is likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continue. All 28 people who were known to be dead were in Buffalo.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said:
All of the numbers have not caught up at this time. We know that the [Erie] county number is larger.- Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown
More than 4,000 people in the area still don't have electricity because of the storm, which Mr. Brown said was "probably" the worst in most people's lives. At its worst, the storm left about 20,000 people without electricity.
Mr. Brown also said that there had been an "improvement" in the city. He said that because it hadn't snowed much and there hadn't been a whiteout, officials had been able to make "significant progress" in clearing the roads and getting the power back on. Officials warned that the region's rising temperatures could cause more problems, like flooding when the snow melts.
On Tuesday, city workers in Erie County cleared ice and debris from storm drains in preparation for what they called a "rapid melt." Mark Poloncarz, the leader of the county where Buffalo is located, Erie County, said that 100 military police officers and more state police were being sent to help control traffic in the area, where many roads were still in "ugly" shape. Joseph Gragmalia, the chief of police in Buffalo, said that looting is "still going on." Four people have been caught so far.
This isn't people stealing food and medicine and diapers. They're destroying stores. They're stealing televisions, couches, whatever else they can get their hands on. They're opportunists.- Joseph Gragmalia, the chief of police in Buffalo
On Monday, US President Joe Biden signed a declaration of emergency that lets the federal government help New York State. He tweeted, "My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones over the holiday weekend."
The nearby state of New Jersey also sent emergency services to the state of New York to help. The storm was called "the blizzard of the century" by State Governor Kathy Hochul, who grew up in Buffalo.
"It is [like] going to a war zone, and the vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking."
Officials in New York say that rescue workers had to go from car to car looking for people who were still alive after the storm. Sometimes they found bodies in cars and snow banks.
Mr. Poloncarz said that some of the people died of a heart attack while shoveling snow. The state of Buffalo issued a "Shovel Smart" warning to let people know that shoveling too much snow can cause heart attacks or back injuries from overwork. Three more deaths were confirmed by Tuesday morning, but two deaths that had been reported earlier were found to have nothing to do with the storm, he said.
A street in the United States covered in snow alongside various vehicles
Over the last few days, some locals told scary stories about how they escaped the storm. One local family with two to six-year-old children had to wait 11 hours before they were saved early on Christmas Day (Sunday).
Zila Santiago, the boy's father, told CBS News, "I was basically just hopeless." He said that keeping the engine running kept him warm, and playing games with the kids kept him from being too upset.
Ditjak Ilunga of Gaithersburg, Maryland, told CBS News that he and his daughters were on their way to see family in Hamilton, Ontario when their SUV got stuck in Buffalo. After letting the engine run for hours, he was so desperate that he decided to risk the storm to get to a nearby shelter. He carried Destiny, who was six years old, on his back while Cindy, who was 16, held their Pomeranian puppy and followed his footprints in the snow.
Mr. Ilunga said he thought, "If I stay in this car I'm going to die here with my kids." He said that he cried when the family came into the shelter. He said, "That's something I'll never forget in my life."
The most deaths have been reported in New York, but storms have also killed people in Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado, among other places. About 250,000 homes and businesses lost power over the weekend, but the power has been slowly coming back on. Even on Tuesday, tens of thousands of people still didn't have power.
Ontario, which is in the middle of Canada, and Quebec, which is in the northeast, got the worst of the storm. Along Lake Ontario, Ontario's Prince Edward County declared a state of emergency and had to take snowplows off the streets because they could get stuck, Mayor Steve Ferguson told CBC News. When a bus flipped over on an icy road near the town of Merritt in the western province of British Columbia, four people died.