Massive Blizzard Rocks US And Travelers Ahead Of Christmas

( – Christmas celebrations nationwide were marred by a deadly winter storm that left at least 46 people dead over the weekend.

A storm bringing a combination of life-threatening frigid temperatures and dangerous wind chills stretched from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande caused power outages across the country and created a “potentially life-threatening hazard” for holiday travelers.

On Friday, over 200 million people, or 60 percent of the country, were under a winter advisory or warning from the National Weather Service.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 3,300 domestic and international flights had been canceled while an additional 11,000 flights faced delays.

From Maine to Seattle, massive blizzards, freezing rain, and bitter cold knocked out electricity in areas throughout the country, leaving 1.4 million homes and businesses without power.

Power was being restored nationwide throughout the weekend. But by Sunday afternoon, over 60,000 customers throughout the country were still without power, including nearly 34,000 in Maine.

On Saturday, National Grid customers in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island were asked to reduce natural gas usage until Sunday afternoon.

In Jackson, Mississippi residents were told to boil water after the freezing temperatures burst waterlines in the early hours of Christmas.

The Tennessee Titans game in Nashville was delayed by an hour due to rolling blackouts.

The Buffalo, New York area, which had already been hit with heavy snow earlier this month, was especially devastated when a “bomb cyclone” (when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm) developed near the Great Lakes, bringing blizzard conditions, including hurricane-force winds and heavy snows.

Forty-three inches of snow were recorded at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. Officials said the airport will remain closed until Tuesday morning.

By Christmas night, Buffalo’s death toll hit 17. According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the dead range in age from 26 to 93.

By Sunday evening, the nationwide death toll stood at 46 people, with storm-related deaths reported in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

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