A severe winter storm bearing down on North America has made the city of Buffalo, New York, look like a war zone, the state’s governor said, quoted by the BBC.
Recently, the city recorded 38 deaths due to extreme weather.
“This is a war with Mother Nature, and she has hit us with everything she has,” New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul said starting Thursday.
Blizzard conditions stretch from Canada to the southern Rio Grande, killing at least 50 people nationwide. The region around the city of Buffalo in upstate New York was the hardest hit.
The governor said residents were facing a “life-threatening situation” as many emergency vehicles could not reach the worst-hit areas or were stuck in the snow.
More victims discovered as the snow melts
A family with young children – aged between 2 and 6 – had to wait 11 hours before being rescued in the early hours of Christmas Day.
“I was basically hopeless,” the father, Zila Santiago, told CBS News. He said he was able to warm up by running the engine.
More victims are expected to be discovered once the snow melts reveal stuck vehicles and allow access to isolated homes.
The “bomb cyclone” winter storm – which occurs when atmospheric pressure collapses, causing snow and strong winds – disrupted travel in the US.
The American state most affected by the cold
Forecasters say the storm will ease over the next few days, but are urging all but essential travel to be avoided.
Over the weekend, some 250,000 homes and businesses experienced power outages – although power has steadily been restored.
Deaths from the storm were also reported in Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado. In southern Florida, temperatures dropped so low that iguanas froze and fell from trees.
Montana, in the western US, was worst affected by the cold, with temperatures dropping to minus 45 degrees Celsius. In Canada, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are most affected by the storm.
Four people died when a bus overturned on an icy road near the town of Merritt in the western province of British Columbia.