BUFFALO: The death toll from a pre-Christmas blizzard that crippled the Buffalo The region and much of the country has fallen to 27 in Western New York, authorities said Monday as the region emerged from one of the worst weather disasters in its history. The dead were found in their cars, homes and in snow banks. Some died while shoveling snow. The Daily Mirror reported that a person was found frozen to death on his birthday after being caught outside during the storm. Family members of William Clay, 56, identified his body shortly after he disappeared on Christmas Eve.
The storm that battered much of the United States is now responsible for at least 48 deaths nationwide, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing on Monday. The blizzard swept through New York on Friday and Saturday, stranding motorists, knocking out power and preventing emergency crews from reaching people in freezing homes and stranded cars.
Huge snowdrifts nearly blanketed cars on Monday and there were thousands of homes that were plunged into darkness from lack of power. The storm is expected to claim more lives as it trapped some people inside homes and knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses.
The extreme weather conditions extended from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. Temperatures dropped significantly below normal east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians. The National Weather Service said the frigid Arctic air “enveloping much of the eastern half of the United States” will slowly move away.
Buffalo saw hurricane-force winds and snow causing whiteout conditions that crippled emergency response efforts.

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