At least 38 deaths have been linked to a severe Arctic freeze that continues to plague the US and Canada. Authorities say 34 people have died in the US, with the hardest-hit area being the city of Buffalo, in New York state.

Four deaths have occurred in Canada when a bus overturned on an icy road near the town of Merritt, in the western province of British Columbia. The storm has wreaked havoc for days, but power has been steadily restored after blackouts.

Fewer than 200,000 customers were without power as of Sunday afternoon, below the peak of 1.7 million, the AP reported. Thousands of flights have been cancelled, preventing many people from reaching their families over the Christmas holidays.

More than 55 million Americans remained under wind chill watches on Sunday. The scope of the storm’s conditions is unprecedented, stretching from Canada to southern Texas.

Cyclonic pump

The winter storm “bomb cyclone,” which occurs when air pressure plummets, bringing heavy snow and winds, has disrupted travel across the country. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul, a native of Buffalo, said, “This will go down in history as the most devastating storm in Buffalo.” Some of the seven dead in the area were found in cars and snowbanks, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told Reuters news agency. Storm-related deaths were also reported in Vermont, Ohio, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas and Colorado. The western US state of Montana is hardest hit by the cold, with temperatures dipping to -50F (-45C).

In Canada, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are the most affected by the storm. In Quebec nearly 120,000 customers lost power on Sunday. Officials say it could take days for some homes to come online again.

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