As the National Guard visits residences in Buffalo, the number of storm fatalities rises to 37; a combined investigation into extensive outages: Updates

As temperatures increased on Wednesday, the worst of the record winter storm is probably behind western New York, a trend that meteorologists predicted would spread throughout significant portions of the United States.

However, this week, residents were still in shock as a result of the storm’s terrible effects. On Wednesday, authorities announced on Twitter that there were 37 fatalities in Erie County, which includes Buffalo, the region that was most severely affected by the storm.

The storm dumped more than 50 inches of snow on the city since Christmas Eve and was accompanied by bitter cold temperatures and powerful winds, with gusts reaching more than 70 mph at times, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday, such circumstances were predicted to disappear as temperatures rose into the 40s and 50s all week. There was a chance of flooding because of the anticipated rain and melted snow.

According to senior AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Thompson, “it looks like the worst could be behind them.”

According to Thompson, temperatures in some regions of the country, such as the Midwest, were predicted to be 10 to 20 degrees above average.

A strong and active wet system is likely to impact the western part of the country over the next few days, the National Weather Service reported on Wednesday morning. Forecasts call for moderate to heavy rain, mountain snow, and significant flood concerns.

Oregon experienced many fatalities as a result of the storm’s strong wind gusts.

From USA TODAY, additional weather news:

  • Why blizzards and winter storms won’t disappear as a result of climate change
  • An extremely moist system Flooded by atmospheric rivers, the west coast
  • In response to crop pressure brought on by climate change, an ancient farming method is revived.

Five people were killed by wind on the West Coast.

According to preliminary police investigations, dangerous wind gusts and snow on Tuesday resulted in at least three deadly car accidents in Oregon.

According to a news release from the Oregon State Police, three individuals were murdered, including a 4-year-old child, when a sizable tree fell on their pickup vehicle as it was traveling down U.S. 26 about 15 miles east of the coast. When first responders got there, all three of them had already passed away.

According to Oregon State Police, a tree fell on a pickup truck traveling on Interstate 84 close to Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge, injuring the driver and killing a passenger. The driver was brought to a medical facility.

According to state police, all events were a result of the bad weather.

More flights are canceled by Southwest.

On Wednesday, passengers using Southwest Airlines were still having trouble with delayed flights and misplaced bags.

FlightAware, which monitors flight status in real time, reports that more than 2,500 Southwest flights are canceled on Wednesday, following nearly 5,600 cancellations on Monday and Tuesday. More than 2,300 Southwest cancellations have already been reported by FlightAware on Thursday.

“We are past the point where (Southwest) could say this is a weather-driven issue,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said on Wednesday on Good Morning America. He was referring to the fact that while the rest of the aviation system saw a rate of about 4% of flights being canceled on Wednesday morning, Southwest saw a rate of more than 60%.

Buttigieg told GMA that this “indicates a system failure.” “They need to make sure that these stranded passengers get to where they need to go and that they’re provided with adequate compensation, not just for the flight itself… but also things like hotels, like ground transportation, (and) meals – because this is the airline’s responsibility.”

President Joe Biden stated earlier this week that his government will hold airlines liable for the widespread cancellations. Southwest Airlines’ cancellations will be looked at, according to the Department of Transportation.

Later in the week, as temperatures climb east of the Rocky Mountains and fog plays a bigger role, airlines may see additional issues.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRAVELER Southwest cancels about two-thirds of its flights.

1,000 Southwest passengers who had flights canceled spent the night at the Denver airport.

investigation of the widespread power losses caused by the storm

With massive power outages reported across the nation, the winter storm that shook much of the United States during the holiday weekend also left millions in the dark.

A collaborative investigation “into the operations of the bulk power system during the extreme winter weather conditions that occurred” during the winter storm was announced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and regional organizations on Wednesday.

The NERC reported that several utilities in some portions of the southeast, notably Tennessee and North Carolina, launched rolling blackouts, even though the majority of the outages were caused by the weather’s impact on local companies’ electric distribution facilities. In other areas, the bulk power infrastructure was also “significantly stressed.”

The effects of the winter storm “demonstrate yet again that our bulk power system is critical to public safety and health,” said FERC chairman Rich Glick in a statement. “The joint investigation with NERC that we are announcing today will allow us to delve deeper into exactly what happened so we can further protect the reliability of the grid,” the company said.

As the National Guard knocks on doors, the death toll rises

On Wednesday, authorities in Erie County said that there had been 37 fatalities.

According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, of the 37 deaths, 29 occurred in Buffalo, 7 occurred in the suburbs, and 1 is unknown. There are numerous bodies that haven’t been recognized as of Wednesday night.

In the upcoming days, it’s possible that the county will discover more victims. In areas of Buffalo and its suburbs on Wednesday, the National Guard was knocking on doors to check on residents who had lost electricity.

Officials are “fearful that there are (more) individuals who may have perished” during the storm, according to Poloncarz.

Poloncarz stated on Wednesday, “I extend my sincere condolences and sympathy to the people who have lost loved ones. “I recognize that as the Christmas season rolls around, people will think back on the storm and the passing of their loved ones. Additionally, the tales are heartbreaking. Tragic in the extreme.

Poloncarz brought up the case of a man who perished after venturing out into a storm “to get food and provisions for his pregnant wife who was about to give birth… (but) didn’t make it back home.” The man, identified as Abdul Sharifu, 26, was discovered dead outside on Saturday, according to The Buffalo News.

Ali Sharifu, Abdul Sharifu’s cousin, told the publication that Abdul Sharifu “was so excited to become a father” and was working toward purchasing a home for his family.

The families of further victims also identified them.

After losing electricity, Carolyn Eubanks, who had an oxygen machine, passed out at her Buffalo home. According to her son Antwaine Parker, who spoke to The Buffalo News, emergency personnel were unable to answer calls at the time.

“She says, ‘I can’t go any further,'” Please, Mom, just stand up, I implore her. She stumbled into my arms and remained silent, Parker told the newspaper.

According to Casey Maccarone, Monique Alexander, 52, who went outside during the storm, was discovered buried in snow. Alexander hasn’t said why she left her house.

The family of Anndel Taylor, 22, said WSOC-TV that she passed away in her immobilized car while returning from work.

Niagara County has identified the victim.

A 27-year-old male who was discovered dead on December 25 in Lockport, New York—a community located about 29 miles northeast of Buffalo—was identified by the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

Two people were reported to be unconscious in a house that was “overcome with carbon monoxide,” the sheriff’s office stated.

The 27-year-old man was later identified as Timothy M. Murphy and was pronounced dead at the scene from carbon monoxide poisoning. Kathy D. Murphy, the second person discovered at the scene, has been identified and is receiving medical care right now.

West Coast hit by snow and heavy rain; thousands without electricity

According to scientists, atmospheric rivers have been soaking the West Coast and the Rockies with torrential downpours of rain, wind, and snow all week. On Wednesday, 11 states in the West were placed under weather alerts.

The National Weather Service’s Prediction Center announced on Twitter that coastal areas in the West should expect rainfall totals of two to six inches over the course of the next seven days, “with higher terrain expected to receive several feet of snow,” it added.

The weather service warned on Wednesday morning that the area, particularly sections of southern and central California, might experience sporadic flash floods, “with the greatest chances for rapid runoff and debris flows near recent burn scars.”

“A very wet system”:

Flood hazards increased as atmospheric rivers inundated the West Coast.

Many people have lost power due to the active wet system that is moving through the West. According to counts by, about 100,000 electric consumers in Washington, Oregon, and California were without power early on Wednesday. By the afternoon, there were less than 70,000 outages in the three states.

Storm kills more people than in the 1977 Blizzard in the Buffalo area

The Blizzard of January 1977, widely regarded as the region’s worst storm in recent memory, claimed the lives of 29 people over four days, including 12 who were discovered frozen in stranded cars, according to The Associated Press. The growing death toll in the Buffalo area reached a somber milestone on Tuesday when it surpassed that number.

Officials reported that there were 34 deaths as opposed to 31 on Wednesday.

Only around 12 inches of snow fell in Buffalo as a result of the storm, but the region was plagued by lethal low temperatures for weeks. Winds in the blizzard category persisted for nine straight hours, and there was no visibility for 13 straight.

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Instead, strong winds drove loose snow from prior storms from frozen Lake Erie onto land, creating enormous snowdrifts and completely burying homes and automobiles.

According to Thompson, the storm from 1977 “is the benchmark storm for the Buffalo area.” “This storm appears to be the deadliest storm in the Buffalo area right now,”

Thompson mentioned decades of blizzards that had killed hundreds of people in the United States, including the 1993 Storm of the Century, which claimed the lives of over 300 individuals in over a dozen different states. According to government weather records, it is regarded as the second most expensive winter storm ever.

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