Six dead in freak US snowstorm

ONE of the worst snowstorms in living memory has claimed the lives of six people in New York State.

The city of Buffalo has been hit with up to six feet of falling snow, trapping motorists in their vehicles and stretches of highway to be closed. And forecasters warn that there is more on the way.

It’s believed that four people died from heart attacks while shovelling snow and pushing trapped cars. Another man was killed in a traffic accident and another victim was found dead in his vehicle. Ambulance crew and fire-fighters had to abandon their vehicles in many cases and transport people to hospital on snow mobiles.

A 132-mile stretch of highway has been closed and authorities are unsure of when it will be reopened as another two feet of snow is predicted to fall before the end of the week. Temperatures are expected to climb above freezing at the weekend, which could result in flooding as enormous banks of snow – some as high as houses – begin to melt.

The freak snowstorm that hit on Tuesday left hundreds of people trapped or abandoning their vehicles and a state of emergency has been declared in 10 counties. The state has so far deployed 526 snowploughs to deal with the situation.

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