NEW YORK: A massive snowstorm stranded motorists, cancelled flights and left at least eight people dead in the northeastern United States, officials said on Wednesday. Areas east and southeast of Buffalo, in northern New York state, could receive a year’s accumulation of snow or even more in just two days, Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters.
The deadly storm may see as much as another three feet (90 centimetres) of snowfall on Thursday, which could prompt a federal disaster declaration, Poloncarz said. US media reported two other deaths in the states of New Hampshire and Michigan.
Temperatures will remain below normal from the Midwest to the East Coast until the weekend, with all 50 states recording below freezing temperatures on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. A state of emergency and travel bans are in effect across Buffalo’s Erie County and authorities ordered people to stay at home to allow crews to clear roads, repair power lines and provide emergency assistance to the most vulnerable.
The National Guard was called in to assist military Humvee vehicles after New York’s transportation department worked through the night to rescue stranded motorists and take people to shelters.