The death toll from the winter storm in New York’s Erie County has risen to 37, as crews continue to clear roads and first responders check on people they couldn’t reach days ago. There were coins. When a catastrophic weather system engulfed the nation.officials there said Wednesday.
At least 25 other deaths were reported in 11 US states from the storm, which buried the city of Buffalo in nearly 52 inches of snow, trapping residents in western New York. Lines
“This is a terrible storm with a lot of deaths,” Erie County Executive Mark Polon-Carz said at a news conference, praising first responders, without whom “a lot of people would have died.”
Now, officials are going door-to-door doing health checks, Poloncarz said: An EMS task force is checking emergency call sites where officials couldn’t get to during the storm, while the National Guard is checking every home over the next two days. Will pass the inspection. In neighborhoods that have lost power.
“We worry that there are people who died alone or people who were not doing well in an establishment, especially those who still don’t have power,” Polon-Carz said. Polon Karz said.
Commissioner Joseph A. Gramaglia said Wednesday that Buffalo police have completed an investigation into 911 calls from the early days of the storm. He told CNN’s Pamela Brown that it was a “tremendous” effort that resulted in the recovery of “quite a few” bodies. This work included applying for welfare checks.
Gramaglia said he expects rising temperatures in the coming days to melt the snow and expose more victims of the storm.
Amidst the cold, whiteout conditions, “people … got trapped in their cars and died in their cars. We have people who were walking during the blizzard and passed out on the road, died in the snow banks. Done,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “And we had people who died in their homes.”
Crews continued to dig roads throughout the Buffalo area as officials urged residents to stay off the road so they could coordinate fuel deliveries to emergency crews and grocery deliveries to markets.
Authorities on Wednesday eveningHey, the ban on driving will be lifted. at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and replace it with a travel advisory.
And a two-day effort aimed at clearing at least one lane on each road. Emergency responders Polon Cars spokesman Peter Anderson said on Tuesday that hundreds of vehicles were stranded in the snow, dangerous driving conditions and snow-covered roads were hampered.
Polon Cars previously said the county brought in 100 military police and the New York State Police to manage traffic control because so many people were ignoring the ban.
Three deaths were reported in Erie County Polon Cars said Wednesday that EMS is responsible for the delay. In one of those cases, emergency responders couldn’t reach the man because of the snow, he told CNN the day before.
“They were blocked, and by the time they got there, it was too late,” Polone-Carz said.
A Buffalo EMT told CNN she was stuck in her ambulance for hours after trying to respond to an emergency call during a blizzard Friday.
“The main reason we got stuck is because there were cars in the way,” said Joycelyn Benton, an advanced EMT at American Medical Response of Western New York. An Erie County spokesperson told CNN that the city of Buffalo contracts with the ambulance service provider.
In pictures: Winter storm hits US
Benton said she believes officials could have plowed snow earlier, sent National Guard resources earlier and imposed travel restrictions earlier to keep vehicles off the road.
“It’s scary not being able to help people,” he told CNN. “Knowing we could be a block away from the call but we couldn’t get to it because of the difficult weather.”
The storm marked the first time the Buffalo Fire Department was unable to respond to emergency calls due to severe conditions, Polone-Carz said, citing the agency’s historian. Two-thirds of the equipment sent to help clear winter snow during the height of the storm also got stuck, he said.
Polon Cars was asked about the timing of Wednesday’s driving ban, which went into effect at 9:30 a.m. Friday after the storm hit, and whether it would issue such a ban earlier. There was a discussion between the officials.
Officials began discussing a possible ban last Thursday, but initially believed the band of snow wouldn’t reach Erie County until 10 a.m. the next morning, Pollon Cars said. He said they chose to wait in part because officials wanted workers to get home before temperatures dropped below freezing.
On Friday morning, the temperature “dropped dramatically,” from rain to snow within five minutes around 8:40 a.m., he said. After the ban was issued, he noted, whiteout conditions did not arise until 10 am.
“But we have a lot to take into account,” Poloncarz said. “If anyone has to blame, you can blame me. I am the one who has to make the final call on behalf of the county.
County Executive Polon Carrs on Wednesday criticized how Buffalo’s mayor has handled storm cleanup efforts, saying Brown has not been on daily coordination calls with other municipalities and that the city has been slow to reopen. Slow down has been demonstrated.
“I’m a city dweller myself, I live in the city of Buffalo, and it hurts me to see 25 other towns and two small cities open up at a time when the city doesn’t,” Polon-Carz said. The county added more cleanup efforts so the city can fully reopen.
When asked about the remarks, the mayor dismissed the criticism, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday evening, “I’m not concerned about those comments, my concern is for the residents of the city of Buffalo.”
“I’ve spent many hours visiting neighborhoods all over the city, looking at the plowing operations,” Brown said, adding that there are city, county and state agencies that provide rehabilitation services. are working in efforts that are “doing a great job of working together, working around the clock.”
“We’re confident that by tonight, we’ll have 100% of the roads open in the city of Buffalo and it’s my hope to be able to … lift the driving ban before business opens tomorrow,” Brown added. .
Other local leaders have called for a review of how the storm was handled.
According to the force’s public affairs office, 580 New York National Guard soldiers and airmen were on the ground in the Buffalo area on Wednesday.
They have two separate missions: teams of four soldiers go door-to-door to see if residents have electricity, heat and food – and distribute meals-ready-to-eat, or MREs, and water as needed; And teams of two soldiers and two medical providers perform health checks, spokesman Eric Dorr told CNN.
As of Tuesday, they had rescued at least 86 people from “dangerous situations.” According to a news releaseIncluding a woman who was taken to the hospital just before the birth of the child.
Separately, a member of the 105th Military Police Company “learned from his mother that a pregnant woman he was close to had gone into labor,” the release said.
“He went to her house,” it said, “helped deliver the baby, then reported for duty.”
Meanwhile, Buffalo faces a small risk of flooding as warmer temperatures begin to melt large amounts of snow and 2 inches of rain is forecast for the weekend, the National Weather Service said. Service said.
But “this system should get about an inch of rain before flooding is likely,” the weather service said.
In a ___ News release On Wednesday, New York Gov. Cathy Hoechl announced that she had directed state agencies to provide flooding resources to help affected communities.
Resources, including generators, pumps and more than 700,000 sandbags, were available for deployment from state depots in Erie and Monroe counties. said the release.
In Erie County, 29 of the dead were in the city of Buffalo, while seven were located in suburban Polokwane. said On Wednesday, he added that he did not know where a person had been found. Poloncars added that several bodies remain unaccounted for.
It has asked any missing family members to call local police to assist in the identification process.
Among the victims of the storm was Andal Taylor, 22, whose family said he Found dead In Buffalo over the holiday weekend after being trapped in his car by a blizzard.
After losing contact with her, the family posted her location on a private Facebook page about the storm to ask for help, and a man called to say he found her without a pulse, her sister said.
The severe effects of the winter storm were widespread, with at least 62 deaths reported from the storm in several states:
• New York: Besides that 37 deaths in Erie County, one deadly carbon Monoxide poisoning reported in Niagara County. The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday that a preliminary investigation showed that snow “covered an outdoor furnace that allowed carbon monoxide to enter the residence.”
• Colorado: Police in Colorado Springs have reported two cold-related deaths since Thursday, including one found near a building’s power transformer, possibly seeking heat, and the other in an alley. In the camp.
• Kansas: Three people were killed in weather-related traffic accidents, the Highway Patrol said Friday.
• Kentucky: Three people are dead, including one involved in a single-vehicle crash in Montgomery County, authorities said.
• Missouri: One person is dead after a van slid off an icy road and plunged into a frozen creek, Kansas City police said.
• new Hampshire: A hiker was found dead in Franconia on Christmas morning, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department spokesman Lt. James Kneeland said.
• Ohio: Nine people were killed in weather-related auto crashes, including four in a Saturday morning crash on Interstate 75 when a tractor-trailer crossed the median and collided with an SUV and a pickup truck. , officials said.
• South Carolina: Two men – including a 91-year-old man who went out to fix a broken water pipe on Christmas Day – died in Anderson County after the storm, the coroner’s office there said. A second victim died after his home lost power on Christmas Eve.
• Tennessee: The health department confirmed one death related to the storm on Friday.
• Vermont: A woman died after a tree fell on her home in Castleton, according to the police chief.
• Wisconsin: The State Patrol reported a fatal crash Thursday due to winter weather.