AT least 50 people are feared to have been killed as a huge winter storm continues to pummel the United States.
William “Romello” Clay was named as one of the victims after being found dead.
He vanished in the snowstorm on Friday after leaving his home to go to the store.
Bodies were reportedly found in their vehicles on highways along Cheektowaga, New York.
At least 12 victims have been reported in Erie County, with the ages ranging between 26 and 93.
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Mark Poloncarz, County Executive of Erie County, revealed that some motorists have been stuck in their vehicles for two days.
He added: “Some were found in cars, some were found on the street in snowbanks.”
He and his daughters spent hours stranded in their SUV before making the drastic decision to abandon his vehicle and try to head to a storm shelter.
Ilunga told the AP: “If I stay in this car I’m going to die here with my kids.”
He carried his six-year-old daughter Destiny on his back, while her sibling Cindy, 16, hauled their Pomeranian pooch to safety.
Cars were seen sitting on driveways and abandoned on roads blanketed by snow.
Meanwhile, 43 inches of snow was recorded at Buffalo Niagara airport on Sunday morning.
The airport is to remain closed entirely until 11am ET on December 27.
Buffalo has seen 92.7 inches of snow during the 2022-2023 season so far – just three inches shy of its all-time record.
The winter season is measured between July 1 and June 30, according to NWS officials.
Gusts of 30-40mph whipped snow into the air, making it extremely difficult for drivers to navigate the treacherous roads.
New York governor Kathy Hochul branded the monster weather event an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” disaster.
She told reporters: “We have now surpassed the scale of that storm, in its intensity, the longevity, the ferocity of its winds.”
She warned that the damage caused by the storm is “devastating.”
Hochul added: “It is going to a war zone. The vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking.”
At least 500 rescues have been completed by state police who have struggled amid the polar conditions.
Hochul revealed that one rescue involved delivering a baby, while elderly citizens were rushed to hospitals.
But, she said vehicles “cannot get through the conditions.”
Officials have warned that the plunging temperatures can cause blood pressure to rise and arteries to “constrict.”
John Burns, a senior who lives in Buffalo, told Reuters that he and his family were trapped indoors for 36 hours by the storm.
He said: “Nothing was going on for two days.”
And, Lauren Wickert told The Telegraph: “It’s been apocalyptic, it’s been crazy.”
“They have started plowing and we are tracking the map. But when they will reach us is still to be determined.”
The winter storm has caused widespread travel chaos across the nation.
More than 2,800 flights within, entering, or exiting the US were canceled by 10pm ET on Sunday, according to FlightAware.
It comes after more than 3,400 flights on Christmas Eve were canceled.
Temporary accommodation has been set up as part of efforts to help stranded and homeless Americans.
Locals in Louisville, Kentucky hunkered down in the 6,600-seater Broadbent Arena as temperatures plunged to a whopping 40 degrees below average.
The charity Another Way is handing out meals and blankets and providing medical care to those in need.
Local Treva Voughn told WHAS-TV: “I feel like this is a blessing for me.
“They went out of their way and I’m sure this costs a lot of money and a lot of care. A lot of love and care.”
And, supervisor Sharon Allgeier added: “They can just find their own area to hunker down, you know, whatever they need to do to feel comfortable.”
Thousands of Americans were left without power but electricity is being restored.
At least 250,000 Americans were in the dark at around 8amET on Christmas morning, according to PowerOutage.US.
More than 29,000 residents in Maine are without electricity, while over 13,000 New Yorkers currently remain affected.
The National Weather Service has issued a hard freeze warning for Georgians as temperatures could plunge to bone-chilling lows of 22F.
Homeowners have been urged to take action in order to prevent pipes from water pipes from bursting.