At least 50 deaths have been linked to a major storm that is still affecting the US and Canada.
The US has recorded 46 deaths, with four others dead after a bus went on icy roads in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
Of the deaths in the United States, 18 are from New York state, where the city of Buffalo has been hit hard by the storm, its cold and heavy “lake-effect” snow – the result of frigid air moving over lake waters hotter.
‘It’s not the Christmas any of us expected’
The National Weather Service said nearly four feet of snow had fallen at the Buffalo airport by Sunday, and snow was falling at a rate of two to three inches per hour south of the city.
Among the region’s storm victims are people found stuck in cars, left freezing in whiteout conditions and rescuers who would have struggled against the weather to help them.
New York governor Kathy Hochul said over the weekend that many of the state’s ambulances and fire trucks were themselves stuck in the snow.
The Buffalo Police Department posted an online plea seeking owners of snowmobiles to help with search and rescue efforts.
Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz said: “This is not the Christmas that any of us expected or expected.”
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More than 55 million are still under weather warnings
At its worst, up to 1.8 million properties in the US were without power, and thousands of flights were canceled and delayed.
But the number of homes without power is now about 150,000, although more than 55 million Americans remained under wind chill warnings Sunday.
In Canada, at least 140,000 homes are without electricity, most of them in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
Four people were killed on Christmas Eve after a bus overturned in icy conditions on Highway 97C near Loon Lake, about 200 miles east of Vancouver.
The local health care authority – Interior Health – told CBS Canada that 52 people were sent to hospital and 36 people needed further treatment.
In the early evening of Christmas Day, eight people remained in hospital, two of them in a serious condition.
Temperatures could drop as low as -43C
Canada’s meteorological agency said temperatures would remain low in many parts of the country this week.
Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories is expected to drop to -28C (-18F) overnight but, with wind chill factored in, this could be as low as -43C (-45F), leaving the risk of frostbite in one minute.
Whitehorse, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, was expected to drop to -30C (-22F) with wind chill included.