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Snow emergency in US city Erie after huge storm

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Media captionHow residents – and dogs – are dealing with the heavy snow

A record-breaking snowfall of more than 60 inches (150 cm) has hit the Pennsylvanian city of Erie over the Christmas period, with even more said to be on the way.

The city has declared a citywide emergency as a result of the storm, which began on Sunday.

New York, northern Ohio and northern Michigan are also heavily hit.

Forecasters say the extreme weather is caused by very cold air passing over the unfrozen Great Lakes.

“We’re used to snow, don’t get me wrong,” Erie’s mayor, Joe Sinnott, told the New York Times. “But this amount, trying to deal with this, is very atypical.”

Police in Pennsylvania warned motorists that “roads are dangerous and impassable”, with a number of closures reported.

In neighbouring Ohio, North Kingsville piled up 18.5 inches of snow in just 12 hours, according to the Weather Channel.

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Some residents had to shovel their way out

So, what snow records were smashed?

In fact, a number of them were.

The National Weather Center said that Christmas Day in Erie brought a new all-time high for any single day (34in), beating the previous record set in 1956 (22in).

Pennsylvania’s two-day snowfall record from 1944 was also shattered.

How are local residents affected?

A number of cars and homes were buried in snow, with some residents having to shovel their way out.

Shops and childcare centres were closed.

Some flights to and from Erie International airport were cancelled. The airport has seen 63.8in of snow since Christmas Eve, according to the National Weather Center.

Meanwhile, social media users have been publishing pictures from across the Great Lakes region.

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