Dozens dead as big freeze grips North America

At least 38 deaths have now been linked to a severe Arctic freeze that continues to pummel the US and Canada.

Officials say 34 people died across the US, with the worst-hit area being the city of Buffalo, in New York state.

Four fatalities occurred in Canada when a bus rolled over on an icy road near the town of Merritt, in the western province of British Columbia.

The scope of the winter storm has been unprecedented, stretching from Canada as far south as the Rio Grande.

Forecasters say the storm will ease off in the next few days but the advice remains to avoid travelling unless essential.

The storm has wreaked havoc for days but power has been steadily restored after earlier blackouts.

Fewer than 200,000 customers were without power as of Sunday afternoon EDT, down from a peak of 1.7 million, the Associated Press reports.

Thousands of flights have been cancelled, preventing many people from reaching their families at Christmas.

More than 55 million Americans remained under wind chill alerts on Sunday.

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