As the US continues to stay in deep freeze, the death toll has reached at least 48 as the blizzard stranded motorists, knocked electricity out for thousands of people and made it difficult for emergency crews to get residents trapped in their cars, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.
The extreme circumstances in western New York were caused by numbing cold, howling winds, and heavy "lake-effect" snow, which was picked up by freezing air flowing over warmer lake waters.
During a press conference on Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced that at least 25 people had perished as a result of the storm, which hit the area over the Christmas holiday weekend, reported Al Jazeera.
Hardly hit, Buffalo city of western New York has been highly hit by snow storms. Numerous regions were also left without power as a result of the blizzard.
The storm capped an Arctic freeze and winter storm front that had spanned most of the United States for days, reaching all the way south to the Mexican border. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses remained without power on Monday as rescue and recovery efforts continued, according to Al Jazeera.
Citing the White House statement, The Hill reported on Monday that President Biden spoke by phone with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and offered federal assistance as New York deals with a massive winter storm that has claimed more than two dozen lives.
"The President shared that his and the First Lady's prayers are with the people of New York and all those who lost loved ones. He expressed his gratitude to the Governor for her leadership and to the National Guard, law enforcement, and first responders for their tireless work," the White House said in a statement.
As a consequence of the Arctic blast and the winter storm, numerous people have died and suffered weather-related road accidents or the cold.
The storm has sent temperatures well below freezing across the US and has destroyed Christmas eve for many. As it pounded regions, the storm delivered hurricane-force winds and whiteout conditions.
All kinds of transportation - planes, trains, and vehicles - were disrupted due to the storm this holiday weekend, closing hundreds of miles of road and air travel cancellations.
Total flight delays within, into or out of the US amounted to about 4,000 as of Saturday morning, according to flight tracking website FlightAware, which showed that total US flight cancellations stood at around 2,000, as per CNN.
Plummeting temperatures were predicted to bring the coldest Christmas Eve on record to several cities from Pennsylvania to Georgia.
(with inputs from ANI)