‘This is insane’: Erie, Pennsylvania buried under 1.3m of snow

Record snowfall over Christmas and Boxing Day has left the city battling a snow emergency

A Christmas storm has dumped a record amount of snow on Erie, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas, burying homes, cars and gardens under as much as 1.3m (53in) of snow.

The National Weather Service office in Cleveland said Monday’s storm brought 34in of snow, an all-time daily record for Erie.

Another 19in fell before dawn on Tuesday, bringing the total to 53in, the greatest ever two-day total in the state’s history. The previous record was the 44in that fell in Morgantown in March 1958.

The huge snowfall comes ahead of what forecasters said on Tuesday would be a bitterly cold few days for the US north-east and midwest.

In New York City, temperatures were stuck below 0C and wind chill advisories were issued for parts of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Meteorologists said frostbite was possible with as little as 30 minutes of exposure.

Temperatures in Chicago hovered around -10C on Tuesday amid forecasts of sub-zero frigid arctic air and dangerously cold wind chills. Wind chill advisories were in place for all of North Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as swaths of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana.

Erie, which is on the shores of Lake Erie in the state’s north-west, issued a snow emergency, citing “dangerous and impassable” roads. It asked residents to stay off streets until the snow stops and roads can reopen.

State police and the state department of transportation were urging people to avoid travel, citing poor visibility and deteriorating conditions.

Many locals posted pictures of the snow on social media.

David Wolter (@DavidWolter1)

This is insane! We have seen 92.5 inches of snow this month. 19″ since midnight, and 53″ since Christmas Day. #Erie #Snowmageddon pic.twitter.com/COiNJja6rx

December 26, 2017

Mike Richwalsky (@mrichwalsky)

I grew up in Erie, PA but have never seen snow like we’ve had here in the last 24 hours. It’s crazy that there’s hardly any back in Cleveland right now. Here’s the obligatory patio table photo. pic.twitter.com/13CuOTwnf3

December 26, 2017

The snow was so deep, that in many cases, whole cars just disappeared.

Brooke Thomas (@Brt330)

Car? What car? #erie #snow pic.twitter.com/8723SYVQOs

December 26, 2017

Kathy B (@ChattyKathy715)

Trying to find my car in Erie, PA! It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo”? pic.twitter.com/ZfYgXUJZEu

December 26, 2017

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