https://www.theepochtimes.com/biden-approves-new-york-emergency-declaration-as-death-toll-from-winter-storm-reaches-28_4946828.html

President Joe Biden approved New York’s emergency declaration request on Dec. 26 as the state battles with a powerful winter storm that has claimed the lives of at least 50 people across the United States.

The White House said in a statement that Biden issued an emergency declaration on Monday for Erie and Genesee counties.

The approval “authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures,” according to the statement.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in New York on Dec. 22 ahead of the severe storm, which bought heavy rain and snow, strong winds, flash flooding, and freezing temperatures.

Over 400 hundred National Guard soldiers have been deployed to Western New York to help aid relief efforts.

According to a separate statement from The White House, Biden and Hochul spoke earlier in the day on Monday where the President “shared that his and the First Lady’s prayers are with the people of New York and all those who lost loved ones.”

Vehicles make their way along a snow-covered street in Buffalo, New York, on Dec. 26, 2022. (Joed Viera/AFP via Getty Images)

Death Toll Rises

“He expressed his gratitude to the Governor for her leadership and to the National Guard, law enforcement, and first responders for their tireless work,” the White House said.

On Twitter, Hochul confirmed Biden granted the emergency declaration request to “help Western New York recover from this historic blizzard.”

As of Monday, there have been at least 28 weather-related fatalities in Buffalo, New York, according to Buffalo News.

Earlier on Sunday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed 13 deaths had occurred, including a 22-year-old female who was found in a car in Buffalo.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told The Buffalo News later on Sunday that another four deaths were confirmed in the city, bringing the total to 17.

A 27-year-old Lockport man was also killed in his home in neighboring Niagara County from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning after snow blocked his furnace, WGRZ reported.

Additional deaths were later confirmed on Monday in Erie County by Buffalo police spokesperson Michael J. DeGeorge.

Epoch Times Photo
A winter storm rolls through Western New York on Dec. 24, 2022, in Amherst N.Y. (Jeffrey T. Barnes/ AP Photo)

Storm Warning Remains in Effect

Of the 27 deaths in Erie County, 14 were found outside; four were from lack of heat; three were from a delayed response from emergency medical providers, three were found in a vehicle; and three were from cardiac events during shoveling or snow blowing, according to officials.

A travel ban remains in effect in Buffalo as authorities warn of dangerous conditions on the road.

Additionally, 5,412 customers and businesses are still without power in New York, according to PowerOutage.us. Of those, 5,136 are located in Erie County and 85 are in Niagara County.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said on Monday that at one point, 20,000 residents had been without power.

Winter storm warnings remain in effect until Tuesday for New York’s Jefferson and Lewis counties as well as Buffalo until 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Roughly 60 percent of the U.S. population, or 200 million people, were issued some sort of winter weather advisory over the holiday weekend amid the intense storm, which stretched more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the Mexico border.

In total, 50 people have died during the storm across the U.S. and Canada, according to The Associated Press. Thousands of flights in and out of the U.S. as well as domestic flights have also been canceled, with airlines blaming the severe weather conditions.

Katabella Roberts

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.

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