31 People Have Died In Erie County Due To Blizzard, Most Froze To Death
Erie County has released an updated death toll from the storm and many of the people who lost their lives froze to death. According to NPR, the blizzard, brought on by winter storm Elliott, dropped temperatures into the negatives in Western New York,
Western New York saw days of sustained blizzard conditions, which dropped over 48 inches of snow and sent temperatures plummeting to minus 22 degrees when accounting for wind chill.
On the evening of Tuesday, December 27, 2022, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz tweeted an updated death toll and the causes of death.
Very sadly, the @ECDOH Medical Examiner has confirmed another 3 deaths from the Blizzard. Total deaths are now 31. Of these:
- 1 was from an EMS Delay;
- 17 were found outside;
- 3 were from shoveling/blowing cardiac events;
- 7 were from no heat; &
- 3 were in a vehicle.
As we noted earlier, the first 2 deaths originally categorized as a result of the storm were later determined by the Medical Examiner to not have been. I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to all who have lost a loved one from this terrible Blizzard.
Of the deceased, more than half, 17, were found outside. When you add those deaths to the people who died from no heat and those who were found in a vehicle, the total number of people who died due to sub-freezing temperatures is 27. It's such a tragedy that they lost their lives and their families lost their loved ones.
Unfortunately, hypothermia and frostbite can happen very quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control,
Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can happen when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Frostbite is a type of injury caused by freezing. It leads to a loss of feeling and color in the areas it affects, usually extremities such as the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes.
Please take a look at the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite (below).
knowing what to look for could save your life or someone else's.
Symptoms of Hypothermia And Frostbite
Hypothermia is a medical emergency. If the person's temperature is below 95 degrees, seek medical attention immediately. According to the CDC, if you recognize any signs of hypothermia, you should do these things:
1. Get the person into a warm space.
2. Take off any wet clothing the person has on.
3. Keep the person's center mass - chest, neck, head, and groin - warm with an electric blanket or skin-to-skin contact under layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets that are loose and dry.
4. Warm beverages can help increase a person's body temperature. Do not give alcohol to the person or try to give a drink to an unconscious person.
5. Once the person's body temperature has increased, keep them dry and wrap them, including head and neck, in a warm blanket.
6. Get the person medical attention as soon as possible.
7. If the person is unconscious and not breathing, perform CPR, even if they appear dead.