A powerful winter storm has hit the United States
IN PICTURES, IN PICTURES – The freezing cold, the blizzard and the snow led to many car accidents and the temporary toll, announced by CNN, was heavy.
“This is not the Christmas we want“: A winter storm, bringing freezing winds and lashing the central and eastern United States for days, killed more than 30 people and left tens of thousands of Americans without power on Christmas Day .
Thirty-two deaths were confirmed in nine states, including 13 in Erie County, New York, which includes the city of Buffalo, where snowdrifts reached three meters high. high in places.
Some victims were found in cars and others on the street in the snow.
Since Wednesday night, the United States has been hit by this storm of exceptional intensity, whose polar winds have brought heavy snowfall, especially in the Great Lakes region. US authorities have confirmed a total of at least 26 deaths related to extreme weather conditions in nine states. Some of these deaths occurred on roads, which were made extremely dangerous due to icy conditions and poor visibility. “This is not the Christmas we want“, underlined Mark Poloncarz, who fears that other deaths will soon be counted in Erie County.
“Some people were stuck in their cars for more than two days and others in homes with freezing temperatures“, he warned. A travel ban was imposed in the region on Friday but hundreds of people were still stranded in their cars. Emergency services went car by car on Sunday to see “if they see dead bodies“, described Mark Poloncarz on CNN.
“This is a big crisisrecognized New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, a Buffalo native, who commissioned the National Guard. “I have experienced every major winter storm in the past 60 years“, he launched. “This is the worst.Power won’t be fully restored in Buffalo until Monday, Poloncarz warned, urging residents not to leave their homes as roads remain impassable.
Between 30 and 60 cm of snow is still expected to fall overnight, according to the latest bulletin from the US Weather Service (NWS). “The wind is very strong“that snow forms like”sand dunes“, this is “crazy“, described Saturday to AFP Ali Lawson, 34, who has lived in Buffalo for eight years. More than 150,000 homes were without power Sunday on the East Coast, according to the Poweroutage.us site, mainly in Maine and New York State.
Risk of hypothermia
Temperatures are expected to return, however.to seasonal standards by the middle of next week“, according to the NWS. Air traffic is slowly improving with nearly 1,800 flights canceled Sunday, against more than 3,400 the day before, according to monitoring site Flightaware.com. “The most severe disruption is behind us“, thus indicated on Saturday the American Minister of Transport Pete Buttigieg on Twitter.
Everywhere in American cities, such as Denver or Chicago, shelters are opened to accommodate people in need to allow them to warm up and protect them from the risk of hypothermia. In El Paso, Texas, desperate migrants from Mexico huddled for warmth in churches, schools and a civic center, teacher and volunteer Rosa Falcon told AFP. But some chose to stay outside in freezing temperatures because they feared they would come to the attention of immigration authorities, he added.
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Canada hits hard
The storm also affected Canada where a bus accident on an icy road killed at least four people and injured several dozen in British Columbia, according to authorities.
More than 150,000 people are also without power, particularly in Ontario and Quebec. All trains from Toronto to Ottawa and Montreal were suspended on Christmas Day following the train derailment, according to the Canadian Rail Service.
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