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Winter storm Elliott – latest: Driving ban lifted in Buffalo as blizzard deaths hit 38

Buffalo region worst affected in US with at least 38 deaths after blizzard dumped 50 inches of snow on city

‘Dangerous situation’ in Buffalo as storm kills dozens across US

One of the coldest Christmases in modern memory has left more than 60 people dead across the US, with 38 people killed in and around the city of Buffalo, which was hammered by over 50 inches of snow.

Nearly a week after the extreme blizzard, the driving ban in Buffalo was lifted on Thursday, although motorists have been advised to be careful around snow-removal equipment and at intersections.

“Hundreds of very large pieces of equipment will still be out clearing streets from curb-to-curb,” Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz warned in a tweet.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Poloncarz confirmed three additional deaths, marking the deadliest storm in western New York in at least two generations.

National Guard went door to door conducting welfare checks in neighbourhoods that lost electricity. As the city continues to dig out of the storm, the death toll is expected to climb further.

Beyond New York state, winter storm Elliott’s icy bite also saw temperatures plunge to record lows in parts of Montana, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming, and wrought havoc on Christmas travel plans.


Freeze watch versus warnings and advisories

What’s the difference between warnings, watches and advisories? Some advice below.

Hard Freeze Warning: Take Action! NWS issues a hard freeze warning when temperatures are expected to drop below 28°F for an extended period of time, killing most types of commercial crops and residential plants.

Freeze Warning: Take Action! When temperatures are forecasted to go below 32°F for a long period of time, NWS issues a freeze warning. This temperature threshold kills some types of commercial crops and residential plants.

Freeze Watch: Be Prepared NWS issues a freeze watch when there is a potential for significant, widespread freezing temperatures within the next 24-36 hours. A freeze watch is issued in the autumn until the end of the growing season and in the spring at the start of the growing season.

Frost Advisory: Be Aware. A frost advisory means areas of frost are expected or occurring, posing a threat to sensitive vegetation.

Louise Boyle23 December 2022 15:10

More than 1million homes without power

Nearly 1.2 million customers are experiencing power cuts across the country by Friday morning due to Winter Storm Elliott.

Louise Boyle23 December 2022 15:25

Watch: Friday’s winter storm forecast across the United States

Friday's forecast: Dangerously cold; blowing and drifting snow
Louise Boyle23 December 2022 15:45

Pictured: How the severe weather looks across the US

A man clears snow off a sidewalk on Thursday in Minneapolis

Frost crystals decorate a frozen pond at Pioneer Park in Walla Walla, Washington on Thursday

Travelers walk past flight information screens displaying flight status information at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Thursday

Louise Boyle23 December 2022 16:00

Ohio governor warns residents to rethink travel plans and stay home

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine urged residents of his state to reconsider their holiday travel plans and stay home as freezing, dangerous conditions set in.

Most of the Midwestern state was under winter storm warnings as subzero temperatures, gusting winds and snowfall set in on Friday.

By 10am, driving conditions had deteriorated across northern Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania as visibility was below a quarter of a mile due to falling and blowing snow.

Louise Boyle23 December 2022 16:06

Many places more than 30 degrees colder than yesterday, NWS says

The cold front sweeping across the US shows no signs of slowing down as it makes it way towards the East Coast.

Along the way, some locations are experiencing 30-degree single-day temperature drops, according to the National Weather Service.

Josh Marcus23 December 2022 18:50

Webcam captures eerie ‘sea smoke’ as freezing air moves over ocean in Texas

Despite being in the far south of the US, Texas hasn’t escaped this week’s freezing weather.

Webcams near Galveston, Texas, captured one strange effects of the recent conditions: “sea smoke,” which forms when very cold air interacts with warmer water.

Take a look at the bizarre weather, courtesy of Saltwater Recon.

Josh Marcus23 December 2022 19:05

Estimated 1.5m people without power as Winter Storm Elliot advances

More than 1.5 million people are without power across the United States, as Winter Storm Elliot batters infrastructure, the Weather Channel estimates.

The outages are largely concentrated across the East Coast, though states like Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia are among those experiencing blackouts.

Josh Marcus23 December 2022 19:20

Bulldozers and icicles on wings: Ice slams Seattle airport

Seattle’s SeaTac airport felt the deep freeze on Friday.

Waiting planes were pictured on the runway with icicles hanging off their wings, and crews of plow trucks and bulldozers were called to clear ice from the landing path.

Josh Marcus23 December 2022 19:45

Pete Buttigieg thanks transit workers for persevering through ‘incredibly difficult conditions'

Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg thanked America’s transit workers on Friday, many of whom are braving ice, snow, and long lines at airports to get people home for the holidays. “Have a thought to workers who are away from their families in order to get you closer to yours and in the case of some of thos ground crews, just working in incredibly difficult conditions,” Mr Buttigieg told MSNBC.

“More than anything else, more than the equipment, it’s the people of our tranportation sector that we all count on, whether we realise or not. “

Josh Marcus23 December 2022 20:05

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