Thursday 15 November 2018

Record five feet of snow falls on US town in just 48 hours

Thomas Berry removes snow from the paths in front of his home after two days of record snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Robert Frank/Reuters
Thomas Berry removes snow from the paths in front of his home after two days of record snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Robert Frank/Reuters

Kim Ripoll

Dreams of a white Christmas have turned into a nightmare in the northeastern US city of Erie after a storm dumped a record-breaking metre and a half - or five feet - of snow in a 48-hour period, forcing officials to declare an emergency.

Residents took to social media to post stunning photos of the whiteout, with meteorologists attributing the 1.47 metres of snow that fell over Christmas Day, Monday, to 5pm on Tuesday to icy winds blowing over the adjoining Lake Erie, one of North America's Great Lakes.

More snow was expected at a rate of up to an inch or two per hour as residents were warned to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and pack emergency kits including tow ropes, flashlights, shovels and flares.

Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf announced in a statement that the state national guard was "providing high clearance all-terrain military vehicles to aid local agencies with medical emergency and law enforcement response".

According to data from the National Weather Service, the 86cm of snow that fell on December 25 was the highest the city had ever recorded, eclipsing the previous high of 51cm on November 22, 1956.

"The crews are out, but quite simply they can't keep up with the amount of snow that's falling," said Matt Exley, a local emergency official.

Irish Independent

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