At least 52 people have died as a result of a winter storm that swept across the US over Christmas weekend, with 28 deaths in New York’s Erie County alone.
Buffalo, New York, was engulfed in up to 4 feet of snow and battered by ferocious blizzard conditions that resulted in zero visibility.
The storm has also hampered holiday travel, with nearly 2,900 flights in, to or from the US canceled early Tuesday, according to tracking site FlightAware.
Of those cancellations, about 2,500 are operated by Southwest, whose head of the pilots’ union on Tuesday blamed the banned trips on the storm and aging IT infrastructure for scheduling software.
“Unfortunately, they are still recovering bodies,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
Some of the victims died from exposure, and some deaths were due to natural causes, he said of the people found dead recently.
“Stay home. Don’t go outside,” the commissioner implored Buffalo residents.