The toll from a devastating winter blizzard sweeping through the west coast of the United States rose to 50 on Monday, reported the Associated Press.

The western New York region was one of the worst-hit areas in the country as the storm pummeled the area during the Christmas holiday weekend. The blizzard knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and emergency crews were scrambling to rescue stranded residents.

The deceased were found in their cars, homes and in snowbanks. Some died while shovelling snow, reported the news agency.

“I am sad to announce that our City has lost at least 20 members of our community due to the winter storm,” Byron Brown, mayor of New York state’s Buffalo region, said on Monday.

Western New York received nearly four feet of snow, which led to regional driving ban and airport closure, American non-profit media organisation NPR reported.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul deployed over 400 National Guard troops to the area and sent an emergency declaration request to the White House.

“I spoke with Governor Kathy Hochul to get an update on the extreme winter weather hitting New York,” US President Joe Biden tweeted on Monday. “We stand ready to make sure they have the resources they need to get through this.”

The authorities have asked residents to stay at home.

A total of 2,085 domestic and international flights were cancelled on Monday, reported AP, citing tracking site FlightAware.

Besides West New York, storm-related deaths were reported from other parts of the US as well. Six motorists died because of crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky, and a woman died after she fell through Wisconsin river ice, reported AP.

The intense snowstorm could be due to climate change as atmosphere can carry more water vapour, which acts as fuel, Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder Mark Serreze told AP.