Dozens killed when blizzard, bomb cyclone wreak havoc across US

The powerful storm system swept across the country last week and brought dangerous conditions to the West, Plains and Midwest. The blizzard rapidly intensified into a bomb cyclone as it walloped the Great Lakes and Northeast with snow, damaging winds and frigid temperatures.

A major winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to several states across the U.S. has killed at least 70 people.

Just before the holiday, the storm knocked out power to more than 1 million customers and snarled holiday travel. It brought dangerous conditions to the West, Plains and Midwest. The blizzard rapidly intensified into a bomb cyclone as it walloped the Great Lakes and Northeast with snow, damaging winds and frigid temperatures.

The storm's central pressure dropped by 30 millibars in the 24 hours, officially surpassing the criteria for bombogenesis, which is a 24-millibar drop in 24 hours.


At least 39 dead in western New York

The Erie County Department of Health said at least 39 people have been killed in western New York as a result of the blizzard.

Among those who were killed, several have not been identified.

According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, some victims have been found dead inside their vehicles, while others have been found dead outside in the elements. There have also been at least three deaths due to a delayed EMS response because roads were impassable. Others died of cardiac issues while out shoveling snow, and at least one was attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning.


Massive pileups turns deadly in Ohio

Whiteout conditions were reported across Ohio as the powerful storm moved across the country. The dangerous conditions led to several crashes across the state, including a deadly 50-car pileup on the Ohio Turnpike.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, four people were killed in the crash that included at least 15 commercial vehicles.


The Ohio State Highway Patrol said it responded to 1,300 crashes over the holiday season that killed 13 people. OSHP clarified to FOX Weather on Thursday that nine of those deaths were attributed to winter weather.

Dangerous conditions lead to deadly crashes across the country

Other crashes that occurred as a result of the powerful winter storm have also turned deadly.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed at least three deaths due to crashes when snow and ice covered roads across the state.

According to a report from FOX4KC in Kansas City, Missouri, one person was killed when their car slid off the road and crashed into a creek. FOX4KC reports the driver was possibly trying to make a turn when they lost control, traveled off the road, went down an embankment, over a cement retaining wall and landed upside down in the creek.

In Oregon, one person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Multnomah County, according to the sheriff's office. Officials said deputies were responding to a crash on Interstate 84 near Rooster Rock State Park when they were informed of another crash in the same location. When they arrived at the scene, deputies said they found a semi-truck collided with an SUV.

"Preliminary findings suggest the person associated with the SUV was standing outside their vehicle when a semi-truck collided with them and the SUV," the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

More storm-related deaths reported in other states

In Texas, FOX 4 Dallas-Fort Worth said one man who was found unresponsive after being exposed to the sub-freezing temperatures died after being rushed to a hospital in Fort Worth. According to FOX 4, first responders said they could not get the unidentified man's core body temperature above 80 degrees. 

At least two people were killed in South Carolina as a result of the powerful storm, according to the Anderson County Coroner's Office. One man died on Christmas Eve when the power was knocked out at his home. Officials say the man was oxygen dependent and used an oxygen machine that relied on electricity. Officials said that he was apparently trying to prepare his portable oxygen device when he collapsed and died. Another man died when officials say he went outside in cold temperatures to try and repair a broken water pipe. The coroner's office said the victim was outside working to make repairs and went back inside to change clothes. He then went back outside to continue working on the pipe. He was found dead the following day, wet and exposed to cold temperatures.

The Colorado Springs Police Department said a total of four people died during the period between December 22-23. Two victims were located on Dec. 22, and the other two were found on Dec. 23.

In Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed seven storm-related deaths but provided no additional information about what happened. 

Three other storm-related deaths were also reported in Oklahoma.