A severe storm continues to batter the USA and Canada, causing at least 50 deaths.
The US has reported 46 deaths. Four more were caused by a bus rolling over on the icy roads of British Columbia, Canada.
18 of the US’s deaths are from New York. This is because the state of New York has seen heavy snowfall and blizzard damage. The cold air that moves over warmer lakes causes the frigid air to move across the country.
“Not the Christmas we hoped for”
According to the National Weather Service, nearly four feet of snow had fallen at Buffalo’s Airport by Sunday. The snow was falling at a rate of two to three inches per hour south of the city.
People were left stranded in their cars by storms, and then they were frozen in white-out conditions. Attempts to rescue them were difficult because of the weather.
Kathy Hochul, the governor of New York, said that snow was a problem for many state ambulances and fire trucks.
Buffalo police posted an online appeal to snowmobile owners for help in search and rescue efforts.
Mark Poloncarz, Erie County executive, stated that “This isn’t the Christmas we hoped for or expected.”
What’s a bomb cyclone and
Photos: Deep freeze in the USA
New York State’s deep-freeze conditions make it difficult to live on the roads
More Than 55 Million still under weather alerts
At its worst, nearly 1.8 million US properties were without power. Thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed.
However, the number of homes without electricity is currently around 150,000. On Sunday, however more than 55 million Americans were still under wind chill alerts.
Canada has at least 140,000 homes without electricity. Most of these are in Quebec and Ontario.
On Christmas Eve, four people died when a bus rolled on Highway 97C near Loon Lake in icy conditions. This is about 200 miles east from Vancouver.
Interior Health, the local healthcare authority, told Canada’s CBC 52 people were admitted to hospital while 36 required further treatment.
Eight people were still in hospital by Christmas Day’s early afternoon, with two in serious condition.
Temperatures can drop as low as -43C
According to Canada’s meteorological agency, temperatures will remain low in many areas of the country this week.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, is expected to drop to -28C (-18F overnight), but wind chill could make this as low as-43C (-45F), increasing the likelihood of frostbite within minutes.
Whitehorse in Canada’s Yukon Territory was predicted to drop to -30C (-22F) after wind chill has been added.