Olivia Benito, 66, froze to death in New Jersey as cold snap hits US East Coast and Northeast
- News Corp Australia Network
- February 16, 2015
A WOMAN, 66, froze to death after she fell outside her home as a “biblical” series of snowstorms and bitter winds hit the US East Coast and Northeast.
An investigator, who asked not to be named, the preliminary finding was that Benito fell as she walked to her home — after drinking a “number” of alcoholic drinks at an event — and froze to death.
Temperatures fell to -17C in Boston, -15C in New York and -11C in Washington DC on Sunday night and forecasters were predicting an artic work week, the coldest since 1933’s Storm of the Century”.
In New York, it was so cold that chunks of ice formed on the East River, forcing the East River Ferry to suspend service.
Winter Storm Neptune had “thrashed” the US Northeast with “heavy snowfalls, strong winds and dangerously cold temperatures”, The Weather Channel reported.
About 32.5 centimetres of snow fell in Boston — on top of 1.8 metres that fell last month — and the wind chill factor was a staggering -23C.
Forecasters also issued a blizzard warning, with blowing snow accompanied by wind gusts of up to 97kmh expected.
Even after the storm, forecasters warned of exceptionally cold air, perhaps the coldest yet of Winter. Strong winds are expected to continue with reduced visibility and snow drifts complicating an ongoing clean-up. Forecasters said there was another storm on the horizon for midweek.
“It’s historic. It’s biblical,” lawyer Frank Libby said as he walked down a deserted street in Boston’s Back Bay neighbourhood.
“I think we’re in uncharted territory. People just don’t know how to deal with the logistics of it.”
He had one message for Mother Nature: “Give us a break.”
Some areas of New England reported nearly 60cm of snow from the storm including Acushnet, Massachusetts with 55cms. At the easternmost tip of Maine, Lubechad had 60cm of snow.