The death toll from the historic winter superstorm that ravaged much of the United States around Christmas time had risen to 61, with two new deaths in the eastern United States, officials said on Thursday.
The two deaths occurred in Erie County, New York, where the storm’s epicenter is in the city of Buffalo. At least 39 people have died in the region, and the death toll is likely to continue to rise, regional official Mark Poloncarz said at a press conference.
Four of the dead were found inside their cars, 11 at their home and 17 outside.
As temperatures rose, officials feared a rapid meltdown could cause flooding.
“Fortunately, flooding appears to be minimal. There is a chance of flooding, but it looks like it won’t be serious,” Poloncarz said.
Finally, he added that electricity was given back to all the houses in the district.
Accustomed to harsh northern winters, the Buffalo area was hit hard by the storm. There was heavy snowfall, icy wind and a sudden drop in temperature.
Bad weather raged to the point where, in many cases, rescuers were stranded on the front lines.
Local authorities must now respond to critics who question how they are handling the crisis.
The cold was more or less felt in much of the country, including the states of Texas (south) and Florida (southeast), which are not used to such climatic conditions.
The storm also caused serious disruptions at airports and thousands of flights were cancelled.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.