The YUGE winter storm has left America cold down to the South and snow across the top of the country to the East…..
The blast of Arctic air continued to chill much of the eastern United States, according to the National Weather Service, but is expected to weaken as it drifts eastward, with temperatures gradually warming over the next few days.
The number of utility customers without power was significantly down from Friday, when it reached 1.5 million, according to poweroutage.us. But there were still tens of thousands without power early Sunday afternoon, including nearly 70,000 in Maine and nearly 40,000 in New York state, the website said.
The storm snarled traffic and travel plans over the Christmas holiday, with more than 1,600 flights canceled in the United States by Sunday afternoon, according to Flight Aware, compared with more than 3,488 canceled on Saturday.
“This is not the type of system you see every day in terms of intensity,” Ashton Robinson Cook, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said of the Arctic blast that over the last few days stretched from Washington state to Florida. The storm pummeled the Great Lakes region with the heaviest snow, he said, and could still drop additional inches on the Buffalo area even as the cold air drifts to the northeast….
The blizzard, which created whiteout conditions for the past two days in the western part of the state, including Buffalo, left more than 100,000 customers across the state without power at its height, and forced officials in several hard-hit counties to issue driving bans that were still in place on Sunday. By Sunday morning, there were still nearly 38,000 New Yorkers without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us, which tracks utility outages across the country.
Nearly three days after the blizzard began, people remained stuck in cars on highways and on side streets in Buffalo, officials said. Complicating rescue efforts was the snow itself that made roads impassable and even trapped emergency responders.
“We had to save firemen, we had to save police officers, we had to save EMTs,” said Mark C. Poloncarz, the county executive, who noted that overnight on Saturday more than 50 rescues were made by a specialized team, many of which included rescues of other emergency workers. “When the rescuers have to be rescued, I’m not certain what else we could have done.”….
image…Vehicles are left stranded on the road in Amherst, N.Y., on Sunday following a winter storm that hit the Buffalo region. (Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters)
Best wishes for those in and around Buffalo…..
Weather reports say the tempatures will rise to the 40’s by week’s end….