New Zealand: Auckland bracing for more heavy rains

Con Edison Asks New York City Customers to Conserve Energy During a Winter Storm Snowstorm on Friday and All Day Saturday, hitting highly populated areas

The storm’s unusual duration fueled its devastating impact, as it struck highly populated areas, and raged all day on Friday and all day Saturday. Howling winds drove mounds of snow more than six feet high, burying front porches and parked vehicles. Emergency responders in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Lancaster and Williamsville became stuck themselves and were not able to reach people because of the storm.

At least three people died in Erie County, two of them because emergency responders could not reach them in time, as whiteout conditions left roads so choked with snow that even snowplows could not clear them.

Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, said on Saturday that this storm may be the worst in the community’s history.

Some people were trapped in vehicles on Saturday, as darkness fell and emergency workers worked to rescue them. Residents prepared to spend a night at home without power because no one could reach them if the power went off.

More than 25,000 customers in the Buffalo area remained without electricity as of 4 p.m. Saturday, Mr. Poloncarz said. Some power substations may not be repaired until late Monday, as the crews are expected to fix them by Saturday night. Emergency workers made at least 50 rescues from homes and cars between Friday and Saturday, including a small child, said Chief Brian Britzzalaro of the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.


New York City Christmas without Heat, Electricity or Electricity: The Buffalo Counties Enraged by the Super-Wind Blast Cyclone

The struggle was complicated by drivers who disobey travel bans, getting stuck or stranded and blocking the roads that are free of emergency traffic.

County officials urged people to stay put, even without heat or power, and asked the National Guard to assist with rescue operations. The governor of New York said that the airport was closed until Monday.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, you’re from Buffalo, you’re used to this,’” said Tommy Bellonte, 37, who briefly emerged from his Buffalo home Saturday morning to check on a neighbor. “But you can’t get used to this.”

The hundreds of thousands of Americans in the wake of the powerful storm that knocked out power to 1.5 million homes and businesses faced frigid weather on Saturday. The potent weather system, a “bomb cyclone” packing high winds intensified by a collision of air masses, upended travel plans for tens of thousands, forcing many to spend Christmas without heat, electricity or the company of family members.

The major weather system swept north into Canada with temperatures in the single digits in central, southern and eastern states. The Christmas Eve temperature in Baltimore dropped to 8 degrees and in Bluefield, W.Va. it fell to minus 9.

Some residents of beachfront areas in New York City also faced the prospect of leaving home for Christmas, after Friday’s storm surge caused heavy flooding in the Rockaways, swamping basement apartments, said Donovan Richards Jr., the Queens borough president.

There have been at least 17 deaths caused by the storm, including a dozen in traffic accidents. A woman died when a tree fell in Castleton, Vt. The medical examiner’s office in Cook County said a man in the area died of cold. The mayor of Houston said a homeless person died trying to set a fire to keep warm.

As the cold tightened its grip, cities and towns opened warming shelters in fire stations and school gymnasiums, and residents sought shelter, some after spending Friday night in unheated homes, huddled under blankets and clustered around fireplaces in the dark.

The Moncriefs lived without power for a day, but they attempted to sleep in their apartment on Friday night. They moved into the car at 2 a.m. and moved to her mother’s house at 6 a.m.


Con Edison Asks New York City Customers to Conserve Energy: Frank Ellis, the Ellis family, and a million others trapped in deep snow on Saturday

Nearly 8,000 U.S. flights were disrupted on Saturday because of the storm, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks flight data. Many people who were planning to travel by car had their plans derailed by winter weather.

At La Guardia Airport in New York, more than 50 flights were canceled Saturday morning, and travelers prepared to spend Christmas Eve at the airport or in nearby hotels.

The Ellis family checked into the airport at 3 a.m. with their teenage children. Hours later, their flight was canceled, and each member of the family was rebooked on a different flight, said Mr. Ellis.

The family decided to rent a car instead of driving to their home in Nashville. Mr Ellis said that he was okay with paying the cost.

As darkness fell in Western New York on Saturday and temperatures crept even lower, thousands of utility workers and plow drivers faced another long night of work to restore power and clear roads. Stores were empty of shoppers, the streets were mostly silent, and the travel bans were still in effect.

Frank Anderson, 50, was stuck in deep snow in his large white pickup truck on Saturday for the second time since wrapping up his shift as a prison guard.

Still wearing his work jacket with a New York State Corrections and Community Supervision emblem on his left sleeve and with only a spare sweater in the back seat, he found his truck jammed along Hertel Avenue, his tires spinning on ice, as he attempted to make it back to his wife and three children in time for Christmas. He was about “a mile from home” in the suburb of Tonawanda.

“I’m going to miss Christmas with my people,” he said, the truck and heat still running as he sat inside in the middle of the unplowed road packed with feet of snow.


New Zealand Floods and Climate Change in the Largest City of the Earth: The 2018 Weakest Day of the Season in Auckland (Italy)

Sharon Dunten, EllenYan, April Rubin, Euan Ward and others contributed reporting.

New Zealand authorities warned Monday that the situation in flood-hit Auckland was likely to worsen after “unprecedented” rainfall brought devastating floods that have killed at least four people and forced hundreds to evacuate in the country’s largest city.

The MetService said the heavy rains could cause land slips, similar to earthquakes, in New Zealand’s largest city.

When there is a big rainfall event, rivers can rise quickly and roads can fall away, and communities can be cut off.

An estimated 240 millimeters of rainfall (9.8 inches) – equal to an entire summer’s worth of rain – fell on Auckland Friday, making it the city’s wettest day on record.

Extreme weather will be deadlier and more frequent because of the climate crisis. On Sunday night, New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw underscored the link, tweeting “This is climate change” in a post thanking those assisting with flood relief efforts.

The north of New Zealand’s North Island is also receiving more rain than normal due to the La Niña climate pattern cycles in the Pacific Ocean that affect weather worldwide.

The body of a man who was declared missing after being swept away by floodwaters is believed to have been found, New Zealand police said Sunday.

A drone operator located the body in the Onewhero area, south of Auckland, about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) downstream from where he went missing, police said.


The Wellington flood-induced deaths of a firefighter and two people injured in a landslide during a wave of rain

“Obviously there were a number of homes damaged by flooding but also extensive earth movements,” he told public broadcaster TVNZ. There were about 350 people who needed emergency housing.

Over 2,000 people stayed in the airport’s terminals Friday due to the flooding. The international terminal was not operational until Sunday, but domestic flights resumed Saturday.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand authorities expect to make the final rescues Wednesday after a cyclone brought extensive flooding and landslides that claimed at least two lives.

Emergency Management Minister Kieran McAnulty said that a volunteer firefighter’s body was retrieved from a slide that destroyed a flooded house. A fellow firefighter was critically injured by the same landslide.

He said a woman was killed in a slide in the area. A third body was found late Tuesday on the shore at the east coast town of Napier, but authorities have not attributed the death to the weather.

A weather station in the Hawke’s Bay and Napier region recorded three times more rain over Monday night than usually falls for the entire month of February, authorities said.

Multiplicity of the stranded victims of the Sandy Hook-in-York flood on the North Island east coast, as declared a national emergency

More than 300 people were rescued Tuesday from that flooded bay area on the North Island east coast, including 60 stranded on a single roof, McAnulty said. Helicopters would help make the final 25 rescues of individuals and family groups on Wednesday.

He did not know if the death toll from the disaster would rise above two. “It wouldn’t surprise me, but I can’t say that there’s an expectation” of more fatalities, McAnulty said. “This has been a serious event. There are still rescues to be had.

“We have a long path ahead of us as we deal with extensive damage to homes, businesses, roads, and bridges and other fundamental parts of our infrastructure,” he said. The area most effected by the disaster is going to take a long time to recover.

A national emergency was declared Tuesday, enabling the government to support affected regions and provide additional resources. It is only the third national emergency ever declared.

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