Deadly U.S. Winter Storm Maintains Its Icy Grip, Claims at Least 34 Lives

Winter storm snow blankets a neighborhood, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. Million
AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson

Millions of Americans might have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but surely nothing like this.

The brutal winter storm that has cloaked much of the U.S. with a coating of snow and ice will continue into the week as festive travelers see cancelled flights and dangerous roads combining to make their travels a misery.

The death toll is also rising with weather-related deaths standing at 34 on Monday morning.

AP reports the massive storm is expected to claim more lives after trapping some residents inside houses and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

The extreme weather stretched from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico.

Approximately 60 percent of the U.S. population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures plummeted drastically below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the AP report sets out.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said Sunday the frigid arctic air “enveloping much of the eastern half of the U.S. will be slow to moderate.”

That is not the news travellers were looking for.

The “bomb cyclone” storm, one of the fiercest in decades, forced the cancellation of more than 1,500 U.S. flights on Sunday, in addition to some 3,500 scrapped Saturday and nearly 6,000 on Friday, according to tracking website

More than 1,000 U.S. flights had already been nixed just hours into Monday, the website reported.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted Saturday “the most extreme disruptions are behind us as airline and airport operations gradually recover.”

A person clears snow as a winter storm rolls through Western New York Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Christopher, a homeless man, embraces his dog Brodie while reading his bible at an emergency shelter in Broadbent Arena on December 24, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky, as brutal winter weather envelops the country (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

But thousands remained stranded or delayed at airports including in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis and New York, as the cold combined with snow and ice.

Saturday saw record-cold daily high temperatures in many cities across the country, UPI reports.

In Philadelphia, the high only raised to 18 degrees, three degrees lower than the previous record of 21 degrees felt in 1906 and 1989.

Other daily records broken along the east coast Saturday were in Wilmington, Del., with a high of 18; Trenton, N.J., high of 14, and Allentown, Pa., high of 13.

CNN reported that some major cities on the eastern seaboard have logged their coldest Christmas in decades and that cities in Florida — including Miami, Tampa and Orlando — recorded the coldest Dec. 25 since 1983.

Farther south, record cold was felt in Knoxville, Tenn., with a high of 22 degrees and in Greensboro, N.C., with a high of 26 degrees as the “bomb cyclone” spread its frigid tentacles across the nation with attendant blizzards and heaping snow in worst affected areas.

A record-low high temperature of 28 degrees was also recorded in Columbia, S.C.

In Chicago, the highest temperature Saturday was 13 degrees and the low was minus one.

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