17 killed as deadly arctic blast sweeps US leaving Christmas celebrations in deep freeze
The United States faced a fierce winter storm as parts of the country reported blizzard conditions on Saturday evening after millions of people were left in dark without power due to the powerful Arctic blast earlier in the day and made travel for home goers in Christmas a nightmare. The country has confirmed around 17 deaths related to the winter storm across eight states, as the nation continues to remain in deep freeze for the third day.
National Guard was deployed by New York's Governor Kathy Hochul to Erie County along with its main city Buffalo, where it was reported by authorities that emergency services were not functional.
The National Weather Service (NWS), on Saturday night, issued a warning that the blizzard conditions caused by lake-effect snow in the Great Lakes regions will continue into Christmas Day. They added that there would be "only slow moderation of temperatures into Monday".
The deadly winter storm resulted in the cancellation of 3,300 US flights and delayed more than 7,500 flights on Saturday, a day after almost 6,000 flights were scrapped.
On Saturday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted, "The most extreme disruptions are behind us as airline and airport operations gradually recover."
White-out conditions, zero visibility and road ice also led to the closing of a few busiest transport routes of the country, which included the cross-country Interstate 70.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a warning regarding lethal conditions and appealed to residents to stay indoors in affected areas. A day after 1.7 million were left in a power blackout, the electricity was restored on Saturday, as residents were appealed to save electricity and rolling blackouts were introduced in a few parts of the nation, which included North Carolina.
"The life-threatening cold temperatures and in combination with dangerous wind chills will create a potentially life-threatening hazard for travellers that become stranded, individuals that work outside, livestock and domestic pets," the NWS stated in its advisory.