Millions of people went into hiding and were on high alert on Sunday Deadly winter storm It killed at least 35 people, caused and created travel chaos across the United States “Life threatening risk” for people moving on Christmas Day.
“Life-threatening cold temperatures combined with dangerous wind chills will create a life-threatening hazard for travelers, outdoor workers, livestock and household pets,” the National Weather Service bulletin said.
Anyone who must be outside should dress in layers, cover their skin as much as possible and pack winter protective gear in their vehicles, the service said.
“In some areas, being outdoors can lead to freezing within minutes,” the service added.
The storm was massive and lingering From the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande on the Mexican border.
By Sunday afternoon, at least 30 people had died, according to NBC News. Casualties were recorded 12 states: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
More than 3,300 domestic and international flights were canceled and more than 11,000 were delayed till Sunday afternoon. According to tracking website FlightAward.
The storm was particularly devastating in the Buffalo, New York area, where seven people died from the freezing blizzard.
“This will go down in history as the most devastating in the long, storied history of Buffalo, which has faced many battles, many dangerous storms,” New York Gov. Cathy Hochul said Sunday.
Blinding blizzards, freezing rain and bitter cold knocked out power in places from Maine to Seattle.
The start of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans game in Nashville was delayed by an hour due to a planned power outage.
National Grid, which serves customers in New York and Massachusetts, on Saturday asked its customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island to reduce their natural gas use until Sunday afternoon.
Thousands of flights were also canceled as people tried to return home for Christmas. On Sunday, at least 1,200 flights were canceled across the country, leaving last-minute holiday travelers stranded.
Climate change may be responsible in part for the increase in snowfall, according to Environmental Protection FundAn environmental advocacy group said, “A warmer planet is evaporating more water into the atmosphere.”
“That moisture means more precipitation in the form of heavy snow or rain,” it said on its website.
“During the warmer months, this can cause record flooding. But in winter – when our part of the world is away from the sun – temperatures drop, and we can get massive winter storms instead of rain,” it said.
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said “conditions are expected to improve slowly as the system weakens.” But by Sunday it said it would “continue to filter cold Canadian air into the eastern two-thirds of the country.”
It said “severe lake-effect snow, gusty winds and reduced visibility” will continue downwind of the Great Lakes and “bitter conditions” across much of the country.
“Lake-effect snow may persist into Christmas Day with locally blizzard conditions,” it said.
Associated Press Contributed.