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Christmas in Snow Chaos: Dozens Killed by “Elliott” in America

Winter Storm Elliot has thrown Christmas celebrations in the US upside down. At least three people were killed Saturday in Erie County, New York. For two of them, emergency services did not arrive in time because of heavy snow, the New York Times reported.

Erie County’s emergency services were overwhelmed at times. Mark Poloncarz, the county’s supervisor, called for emergency calls to be made only in the most critical, life-threatening cases to keep lines free. On Saturday, rescue workers helped deliver the baby by phone, the New York Times wrote. By nightfall, people were still being rescued from their cars on Christmas Eve, it said. Some of them have been stuck there since Friday.

Measures should ensure energy supply

More than 170,000 homes were without power as of early Sunday morning, according to the PowerOutage website. In New York, people called to save electricity. Heaters should be turned on as low as possible and appliances such as dishwashers or tumble dryers should not be used if possible.

The center of the storm has now moved north and crossed eastern Canada. The U.S. Weather Service said on Twitter that the area around the Great Lakes in the northeastern United States was severely affected. Heavy snow is expected on Sunday, which combined with strong winds will lead to blizzard-like conditions locally.

Minus 33.9 degrees in North Dakota

The coldest temperature west of the Great Lakes was recorded in North Dakota on Sunday night at minus 33.9 degrees Celsius. Travelers were again urged to exercise extreme caution and were warned of so-called “whiteout conditions”, meaning severely restricted visibility and lack of orientation due to snow.

A winter storm has gripped the US since the day before Christmas. More than 200 million people have received severe weather warnings. Initially, the North and Midwest of the country were particularly affected. But there was also a severe frost warning for states in the south of the country. A state of emergency has been declared in several states, including New York.