At least five people have been killed as a treacherous 'once-in-a-generation' winter system pummels central and eastern parts of the United States - with at least six governors calling for a state of emergency.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency and issued a traffic ban on part of Interstate 90 beginning on Friday at 6 am due to the incoming storm's expected brutality.
She joins at least five other states, ahead of the frigid, powerful snowstorm moving across the U.S. through Friday, and expected to hit multiple states with heavy snow, damaging winds, freezing rain and dangerous bitter cold.
The five fatalities, caused by separate motor vehicle accidents, were recorded in Oklahoma as the storm started to coat roads with snow and ice, authorities said.
Lieutenant Candice Breshears, of the Kansas Highway Patrol, said in a press conference on Thursday that three people were killed in multiple crashes overnight.
In one of the collisions, authorities said, a vehicle driven by 16-year-old Sawyer Lysell-Alkire was traveling south on Interstate 135 in Saline County shortly after 9 pm when it veered off the highway and overturned into a ditch.
A passenger in the vehicle, Grant L. Lysell-Alkire, 21, of Lindsborg, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The driver suffered minor injuries.