At least 53 people die in the United States after winter storm Elliot. But even in the particularly hard-hit region around Buffalo, the clean-up work is gradually beginning as temperatures rise. However, this will not make the situation any less dangerous for the population for the time being.
In many places in the USA, the clean-up work after the severe winter storm of the past few days has begun with slightly rising temperatures. Especially in the city of Buffalo in the state of New York, which was hit particularly hard, many streets are still lined with snow masses. Several thousand flights were once again canceled.
So far, at least 53 people have died nationwide due to snow masses and extreme cold caused by the Arctic winter storm "Elliot". In the particularly affected state of New York, the authorities are currently reporting 31 fatalities in Erie County alone, which also includes the city of Buffalo. Thousands of people in the region are still without electricity. US President Joe Biden approved emergency aid for the state.
According to WSOC-TV, 22-year-old Anndel Taylor died in her car after getting stuck in the snow on her way home from work. Rescuers who got stuck themselves during a rescue attempt found her dead 18 hours later. A father told the New York Times that he was stuck in his car with his four young children for 11 hours. Zila Santiago, 30, ran his engine to generate heat and fed his children juice he found in the trunk. They were eventually rescued by a passing snowplow at dawn.
Due to the snow masses, the clean-up work in Buffalo is progressing slowly. The driving ban lasted throughout the day, Poloncarz explained on Twitter. Depending on the situation, a decision will be made during the night or tomorrow morning as to whether it can be lifted.
In the region, however, new dangers are already looming: The US weather service predicts temperatures of ten degrees Celsius for the west of New York State, in which Buffalo is also located, after sometimes double-digit minus degrees by the weekend. Authorities are already warning of flooding from melting snow.
"We expect rapid snowmelt and possible flooding," said Poloncarz, head of administration. All necessary preparations would be made. "The police will keep an eye on possible flood risks."