Deadly winter storm brings travel chaos, 'life-threatening' frigid temperatures to much of the U.S.
At least 46 people have been killed, according to an NBC News tally.
Millions of people were hunkered down and staying on high alert Sunday amid a deadly winter storm that has killed at least 46 people, caused travel chaos across the U.S. and created a "potentially life-threatening hazard" for people on the move on Christmas Day.
"The life-threatening cold temperatures and in combination with dangerous wind chills will create a potentially life-threatening hazard for travelers that become stranded, individuals that work outside, livestock and domestic pets," the National Weather Service said in a bulletin.
The service said that anyone who needs to be outside should dress in layers, cover as much of their skin as possible and pack winter safety kits in their vehicles.
“In some areas, being outdoors could lead to frostbite in minutes,” the service added.
The storm was vast in scale, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the Mexican border.
At least 46 people had died as of Sunday evening, according to an NBC News tally. The deaths were recorded in 12 states: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
More than 3,300 domestic and international flights had been canceled as of Sunday afternoon, with more than 11,000 flights delayed, according to the tracking website FlightAward.
The storm was particularly devastating in the Buffalo, New York, area, where 16 people died after the area was slammed with a freezing blizzard.
“This will go down in history as the most devastating storm in Buffalo’s long, storied history of having battled many battles, many major storms,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Sunday.
Blinding blizzards, freezing rain and frigid cold also knocked out power in places from Maine to Seattle, leaving hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power and millions of people on edge about the possibility of blackouts.