Death toll rises to 19 in US blizzard

January 24, 2016 04:41

A blizzard that has paralyzed much of the US East Coast intensified on Saturday, bringing Washington to a standstill and forcing the closure of roads, bridges and tunnels into New York until Sunday morning.

In all, there were at least 19 deaths in several states related to the storm. It ranked No. 3 in terms of snowfall accumulation in New York City history with at least 25.1 inches (63.7 cm), and was among Washington's biggest too, the National Weather Service said.

Thirteen people were killed in weather-related car crashes in Arkansas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia. One person died in Maryland and three in New York City while shoveling snow. Two died of hypothermia in Virginia, officials said.

After dumping nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow on the Washington area overnight, the storm unexpectedly gathered strength as it spun northward and headed into the New York metropolitan area, home to about 20 million people.

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