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Major US winter storm leaves 23 dead, 700k without power

A Nashville resident walks to work on Dec 23, 2022, after winter storm Elliot moved through the Middle Tennessee region through the night leaving behind freezing rain, snow and below freezing temperatures, in Nashville, Tennessee. (SETH HERALD / AFP)

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK – A major winter storm has taken at least 23 lives across the United States as of Saturday evening, according to NBC News.

The media outlet reported that deaths had occurred in the states of Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, New York, Colorado, and Michigan.

A "historic" blizzard has caused "impossible travel conditions in the Buffalo area of the state of New York and beyond, according to Governor Kathy Hochul's office

Among them were four fatalities caused by a 46-vehicle pileup on the Ohio Turnpike near Sandusky, Ohio, on Friday afternoon.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tweeted Saturday that state troops "have responded to terrible crashes on our roadways this weekend."

ALSO READ: At least 4 dead in US East Coast blizzard

"If you have to be out, drive slowly, buckle up, and keep a safe stopping distance," DeWine warned. "We want you to get to your destination safely."

US weather forecasters said on Saturday that the winter storm continues to impact the Great Lakes with gusty winds, frigid temperatures and heavy snow, even with its center now well to the north over eastern Canada.

A "historic" blizzard has caused "impossible travel conditions in the Buffalo area of the state of New York and beyond, according to Governor Kathy Hochul's office.

The North County, Finger Lakes, and Central New York regions all experienced peak wind gusts of more than 60 miles (96 km) per hour during the event.

READ MORE: Snowstorm strands motorists, grounds planes in US, Canada

In Western New York, peak wind gusts reached 79 miles (127 km) per hour. The Buffalo and Watertown areas are expected to see snow totals of 3 to 5 feet (91 to 152 cm) by Monday.

The lights are still out for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the United States as Christmas Eve falls. Reuters reported that 700,000 residents had no electricity.

More than 3,300 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been canceled on Saturday, with around 7,500 delayed, according to a flight tracking website.