The New York winter storm death toll stands at 34 with more snow on the way

Erie county executives said "it's not over yet" as weather forecasters said 9 more snow could fall by Tuesday

As Buffalo, New York, reels from a historic winter storm that killed at least 34 people, first responders are tasked with the daunting task of searching for more victims against drifting snow and sub-freezing temperatures. hospitals are full and we just have to go through and determine whether individuals have died from blizzard-related deaths,” Mark Poloncarz, Erie county executive, told CNN.

Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters he expected more bodies to be found as the snow moved. Buffalo Police have an incredible 1,000 or so 911 calls although some may be duplicates, he said.

Police attached yellow crime scene tape to the side mirrors of the abandoned vehicle after they searched for casualties. “This is painstaking and painstaking work,” says Gramaglia.

For many residents, direct assistance remains invisible. The driving ban remains and many grocery stores are closed.

Adding to the misery, after 4 feet of snow fell over Christmas, another 7.3 inches fell on Monday, bringing the season's total to over 100 inches.

Bob Oravec, National Weather Service (NWS) forecaster, said: "Any additional snowfall that may hit Buffalo will have an impact."

On Monday night, Poloncarz said the storm was "the worst possible storm of our lives", even for an area accustomed to high snowfall in the Great Lakes.

Of the fatalities caused by the storm, three people were found dead in their vehicles, four died without heating in their homes, three died from heart attacks related to shoveling or other snow removal and three died after emergency services were suspended.

"They've been found in a number of ways," a spokesman for the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, told the New York Times. "They were found in a stranded vehicle, they were found on the sidewalk, near a street corner, some were found in a snowdrift."

One victim, 22-year-old Anndel Taylor, died after being trapped in his car for 18 hours where he reportedly exchanged videos with his sister in North Carolina, the New York Post reported. In the final video, Taylor rolls down the window to show a van also getting stuck.

"We certainly don't blame the individual who drove," Brown said Tuesday when asked about the failure of the emergency response.

“Our goal is to save everyone, to respond to every call – but the act of driving during snowstorms, during zero visibility and whiteout conditions, as you might guess, makes emergency response much more difficult and much more complicated.”

Stories of adversity are common. Shahida Muhammad told WKBW that the power went out on the ventilator used by her one-year-old son. She and the child's father breathed manually from Friday to Sunday, when rescuers saw her posts on social media. Muhammad said his son was fine despite the ordeal.

Melissa Carrick, a doula, said the snowstorm forced her to coach clients through telephone births. The ambulance crew eventually took the woman to a hospital about 45 minutes south of Buffalo, as there were no nearby hospitals within reach.

“In another normal Buffalo hurricane? I'm just going to go because that's what you do – just drive through the snow,” said Carrick. "But you know it's different."

The Mayor of Buffalo warned residents who think about driving they are “still stuck out there. Many roads in the city of Buffalo are still impassable."

New York Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters: “This blizzard has been going on for a long time. Of course, it is the blizzard of the century.”

Hochul also noted that the storm came more than a month after the first "historic" snowfall, and said the White House had promised a federal emergency declaration for the counties of Erie and Genesee, providing relief. Joe Biden said his prayers are with the families of the victims. New York's two Democratic senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, marked a "once-in-a-generation blizzard".

Scientists say climate change may have contributed to the storm's intensity. That's because the atmosphere can carry more water vapor, which serves as fuel, said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

"It's hard to say," said Serreze. “But are the dice slightly filled now? Very."

Help is coming, as the temperature forecast is going up. The NWS expects more snow Tuesday morning followed by above freezing temperatures.

"Warming with melting snow could cause minor flooding, depending on how much rain this weekend," the warning read.

Ashton Robinson Cook, a NWS meteorologist, said the cyclone bombs - when the atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm - that cause major US hurricanes have now weakened.

Across the US, thousands of domestic and international flights were canceled on Monday. The FlightAware website said Southwest Airlines had 2,909 cancellations, about 70% of scheduled flights, nearly 10 times more than any other major US carrier.

The US Department of Transportation said it would investigate Southwest's cancellations that left travelers stranded across the country.

According to FlightAware data, airports across the US are experiencing cancellations and delays, including Denver, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Seattle, Baltimore and Chicago. Buffalo Niagara international airport is scheduled to be closed until Wednesday.

The storm cut power from Maine to Seattle. Hurricane-related deaths were reported nationwide, including at least eight killed in crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky. A woman falls through an icy river in Wisconsin and a fatal fire breaks out in a Kansas homeless camp.

In Jackson, Mississippi, crews struggled to get water through a beleaguered water system, authorities said. Many areas have no water or low pressure. On Christmas Day, residents are ordered to boil drinking water because the water channels are broken because of the cold.

"The problem must be a significant leak in the system that we haven't identified," the city said on Monday.

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