At least 62 people have been killed as a result of severe snow storms sweeping the United States.
Thousands are still suffering from power outages due to the storms that hit large areas in North America.
At least 28 people were killed in New York State, most of them in Buffalo, with authorities recording dozens of deaths in nine US states.
A New York official said some people were stuck in cars for more than two days during what was described as “probably the worst storm” of their lives.
Meteorologists warned that more snow, up to nine inches (23 centimeters), could fall in parts of the state through Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration allowing federal aid for New York State. “My deepest sympathy goes out to those who lost loved ones this weekend,” he wrote on Twitter.
Neighboring New Jersey has also sent teams of emergency services to New York State to provide additional assistance.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, a native of Buffalo, called the storm the “blizzard of the century.”
“It’s (like) going to a war zone, and the sight of vehicles on both sides of the roads is shocking,” she added.
It said many emergency services vehicles were unable to reach the hardest-hit areas or got stuck in the snow.
New York state officials said emergency personnel were going from car to car looking for survivors of the storm, and found bodies in cars.
Others have died of cardiac arrest while shoveling snow, with the state of Buffalo issuing a warning to people that excessive stress from snow shoveling can cause heart attacks or back injuries, said Marc Poloncars, executive director of Erie County, which includes Buffalo.
A family in the area with young children, aged two to six, had to wait 11 hours before being rescued in the early hours of Christmas Day.
“I was so desperate,” the father, Zila Santiago, told CBS News, adding that he was able to keep warm by keeping the engine running and avoid stress by playing with the children.
Detjack Ilunga, of Gaitherburg, Maryland, told CBS News that he and his daughters were on their way to visit relatives in Hamilton, Ontario, when their car got stuck in Buffalo.
After spending hours with the engine running, he had no choice but to risk trying to reach a nearby shelter in the middle of the storm.
He carried his six-year-old daughter, Destiny, on his back, while his 16-year-old daughter, Cindy, held her puppy and followed his footprints in the snow.
“If I had stayed in this car, I would not have died there with my two daughters,” says Ilunga.
A family-run convenience store owner in East Buffalo, who asked not to be named, said thieves broke into his store on Christmas Day.
“They took everything, they took the toys, the electronics, the speakers,” he added.
He estimated the theft at up to $50,000 worth of equipment, and said he called the police, “but they told me they were too busy saving old people.”
“We can feel some optimism, but it’s not the end yet,” Polonkars said.
“It’s a once-in-a-generation blizzard,” he added, warning that the province had not yet begun assessing “total losses.”
The winter storm, or “bomb hurricane” as it is known, disrupted travel across the country. This phenomenon occurs when atmospheric pressure decreases, causing heavy snowfall and strong winds.
About 4,000 US flights were canceled on Monday, according to Flightwire.com.
Meteorologists say that the storm will reduce its intensity during the coming days, but they advise people to avoid travel and movement now, unless necessary.
Over the weekend, more than 250,000 homes and businesses were affected by power outages, but electricity is gradually returning.
Storm-related deaths were reported in Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas and Colorado, and temperatures were so low in southern Florida that iguanas froze and fell from trees.
The state of Montana, in the western United States, was hardest hit by the cold, with temperatures dropping to -45 degrees Celsius.
In Canada, the provinces of central Ontario and Quebec, in the northeast, were hardest hit by the storm.
Prince Edward, Ontario, located along Lake Ontario, also declared a state of emergency and had to pull snow plows off the streets because they might get stuck, the city’s mayor Steve Ferguson told CBC News.
Four deaths were recorded earlier when a bus overturned on a snow-covered road near the town of Merritt in British Columbia, in the west of the country.