State Official Says People Trapped In Cars For Multiple Days As Winter Storms Continue To Batter East Coast

Brian Rayner/Twitter @brianrayner via REUTERS

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

A New York State official said that some people were trapped in their cars for more than two days by a huge winter storm rolling over from the Pacific Northwest.

At least 28 people have died in western New York, a majority in and around the city of Buffalo in Erie County, New York, as a “bomb cyclone” battered the region over Christmas weekend and into Monday and Tuesday, the BBC reported. An additional nine inches of snow are anticipated to fall on Tuesday, making this “probably” one of the worst storms in many resident’s lifetimes, the state official noted.

“My heart is with those who lost loved ones this holiday weekend,” President Joe Biden tweeted Dec. 26. The president has approved an emergency declaration for New York state, allowing for federal support of those affected by the winter storm.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul described the storm’s impacts in Buffalo as like “going to a war zone,” with emergency vehicles unable to reach some of the worst-hit parts of the city and surrounding county. Some emergency vehicles also got trapped in the snow, requiring rescue. (RELATED: REPORT: At Least 38 People Killed Around Christmas Time By Arctic Blast)

State officials have gone car-to-car looking for survivors, but have found many bodies in cars and along snow banks, the BBC reported. Other victims died of cardiac arrest while ploughing snow, executive of Erie County Mark Poloncarz said.

The storm system currently stretches from Canada to Mexico and has killed 56 people thus far, according to the BBC. Looters and criminals are using the storm as an opportunity to break into stores and local shops, stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment while police and other first responders save lives.