Some people were trapped in their cars for over two days due to the severe windstorm rolling over from the Pacific North West. According to reports in the Daily Mail, the severe weather storm has also led to the death of at least 35 people over the Christmas weekend through Monday and Tuesday.
Most of the recorded deaths were around the city of Buffalo in Erie County, New York. One of the victims, an 18-year-old woman, died after she was stranded in her car for 18 hours on Friday.
The victim, identified as Anndel Taylor, and two other individuals were found dead in a car after taking to the road despite authorities banning personal road travel. Taylor sent several videos to her family while she was trapped in the car and surrounded by 50 inches of snow.
According to the BBC, New York state officials have combed through the stranded cars in search of survivors but have several bodies in the cars and along snow banks. Some of the victims reportedly died of cardiac arrest while plowing snow.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul described the storm’s impact on Buffalo as “going to war.” Weekday Morning Meteorologist for Spectrum News Buffalo, Dan Russell, said he has covered many winter weather storms through the years, but this one is the worst he has ever seen.
“A true Blizzard with no letting up anytime soon,” Russell said.
To say it's been an epic start to this winter is an understatement. Thru yesterday we're now into the triple digits when it's comes to snow this winter. The average for the entire season is 95.4"! Almost all of it in 3 big to historic events. #Buffalo #Snow pic.twitter.com/KjLyYmctXL
— Dan Russell (@Dan_Weather_Man) December 27, 2022
The blizzard is the worst to hit western New York in 50 years, with more than 12,000 residents left without power. The severe weather storm has left 55 people dead across the country as of Monday.
Officials say they expect the severe weather storm to get worse. Erie County Executive Marc Poloncarz said shelters and nursing homes are running out of food. First responders are also struggling to reach people stranded in their vehicles.
“This is the worst storm probably in our lifetime and maybe in the history of the city,” Poloncarz said. “And this is not yet the end.”