Refugee, grandmother and nurse’s aide among the dead of the US storm

The identities of the dozens of victims who lost their lives in a deadly winter storm across the United States are emerging as the snow begins to melt.

Over 60 people died, most of them in New York’s Erie County, home to the state’s second largest city, Buffalo.

Among the dead are a Congolese refugee, a nurse and a grandmother.

Some have been found in their cars or on the freezing sidewalk, and even in the relative safety of their homes.

William Clay

Sophia Clay spent Christmas Eve worried and anxious about her brother, William Clay, 56, who is missing.

“If he comes to your door, please help him,” she wrote in a Facebook post that morning. “Please pray for his safety.”

Willie Payne, Mr. Clay’s brother, told NPR he was in for a shock when he got a call from Sophia later that day. He told Mr Payne their brother had been found face down in the snow, dead.

Mr. Clay died on his birthday.

Abdul Sharifu

Abdul Sharifu, 26, left at noon on Christmas Eve to do some shopping for his pregnant wife, family members told local media. He never came back.

Hours after he left, he was found dead on a sidewalk.

Mr. Sharifu, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was trying to rebuild his life in Buffalo, after fleeing his war-torn homeland.

Ali Sharifu, his cousin, told Buffalo News that Mr. Sharifu “was so excited to be a father” and was working to buy a house for his growing family.

Monica Alexander

Monique Alexander, 52, left the house on Christmas Eve but never returned, her daughter Casey Maccarone told ABC News.

“She never said where she was going, just that she’d be right back,” Maccarone said.

Hours went by without Maccarone having news of her mother. She posted a message to a Buffalo Blizzard group on Facebook asking if anyone had seen her.

She later received a call from a man who told her he had found her mother’s body buried in the snow.

Maccarone said her mother’s death meant losing the “rock of the family.”

Anndel Taylor

Anndel Taylor, 22, died after being trapped in her car on the Friday before Christmas Eve.

Ms. Taylor was a certified nursing assistant who had moved to Buffalo from Charlotte, North Carolina to be with her elderly father.

Driving home from work, she was minutes from her destination when she became stranded, relatives told US media.

Ms Taylor had been sending videos of the blizzard to family members from inside her car. But eventually, the communication broke down.

His body was found the next day.

His mother, Brown Steele, told reporters, “I want to get to the bottom of why the city hasn’t been able to help.”

Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy, 27, was found by his cousin on Christmas Day, a family member told the New York Times.

The cousin, Steven, chose to visit the Lockport, Niagara County home because Mr. Murphy was not returning phone calls. Neither does Steven’s mother, who also lives at the address.

She called 911 after finding Timothy “cold” and unresponsive and her mother unconscious.

Mr Murphy was killed when carbon monoxide built up in the home after its outdoor furnace was blocked by snow, officials say.

Carolyn Eubanks

Carolyn Eubanks, 63, suffered from heart problems and was dependent on an oxygen machine, her family told Buffalo News.

Her son and half-brother went to her home to try to rescue her, but a journey that usually takes 10 minutes by car ended up taking seven hours due to road closures and stranded vehicles. Eventually they managed to park two blocks from Mrs. Eubanks’ house.

When her son, Antwaine Parker, tried to walk her to her car, she collapsed in the snow. Mr. Parker knocked on a neighbor’s door for help.

Strangers rushed out to help Mrs. Eubanks in, but she quickly relented.

Her body remained in the house for 24 hours before being taken to the hospital.

The couple “allowed my mom to rest in peace on their living room floor,” Parker said.

Stanisława Jóźwiak

Stanisława Jóźwiak, 73, was a Polish immigrant who died after her car skidded off the road as she was driving to a market in Buffalo, her daughter told the Washington Post.

His body was found inside his car on Christmas Day.

Her daughter, Edie Syta, told the Post it’s possible her mother didn’t understand the severity of the storm warnings because she wasn’t fluent in English.

“So many families will be destroyed,” she tearfully told the newspaper. “And they will never look at Christmas the same way.”

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