The deaths have occurred due to exposure, car crashes, a falling tree limb and other effects of the storm, according to officials, The Associated Press reported. At least three of the deaths were reported in New York’s Buffalo area where hurricane-force winds caused whiteout conditions Saturday.
Historic blizzard conditions paralyzed emergency efforts and almost every fire truck in the city was stranded in the snow, and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Buffalo Niagara International Airport would be closed through Monday morning, the newswire added.
Deaths have been reported in Oklahoma, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nebraska and New York.
Late Saturday, the storm was striking parts of the Upper Midwest and interior Northeast with heavy snow and blizzard conditions.
At least 345,000 customers were without power nationwide as of Saturday night, PowerOutage.us said. More than 170,000 of the customers were in the New England region, CBS News reported.
The AP said a major electricity grid operator warned that the 65 million people it serves across the eastern U.S. could experience rolling blackouts.
Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection asked residents in 13 states to conserve electricity through at least Christmas morning and the Tennessee Valley Authority directed local power companies to implement planned interruptions.
Further, more than 5,500 flights within, into or out of the U.S. had been canceled, as of Saturday, according to FlightAware.