At least 23 people have died in freezing weather that wreaked havoc across the United States over the Christmas weekend.
The highest number of deaths was in northern Erie County, New York, which includes Buffalo, where seven deaths were reported.
“This will go down in history as the most destructive storm,” New York Governor Buffalo said. Kathy Hochul said at a news conference on Christmas morning.
The “massive” snowstorm brought winds of nearly 80 mph, the governor said.
Buffalo has activated a travel ban as the blizzard looms.
“I can’t overstate how dangerous the situation is still,” Hochul said Sunday, urging people to stay off the roads over Christmas.
The storm marked the first time in its history that the Buffalo Fire Department was unable to respond to any calls, officials said. The National Guard has been called in.
Hundreds of people have been rescued from cars, Hochul said, adding, “We still have people to rescue.”
The Buffalo airport will be closed through Tuesday.
Weather-related deaths were also reported in Ohio, Kansas, Vermont, Colorado, Wisconsin and Missouri, according to the Associated Press.
The storm came as frigid air hit the country on Christmas morning.
Temperatures are expected to drop to minus 9 degrees in Minneapolis, 2 degrees in Chicago, 3 degrees in Denver, 15 degrees in New York, 16 degrees in Atlanta and 21 degrees in Dallas.
More than 165,000 customers woke up without power on Christmas morning in Maine, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia and Florida.
More than 3,000 flights to, from, or within the United States were canceled on Christmas Eve, and more than 1,700 flights have been canceled on Christmas Day so far.