US firefighters have battled crumbling ice in Long Island Sound to rescue two people trapped after a truck broke through and sank in the frigid waters beneath.
Social media images of the incident near the Connecticut city of Stamford on Tuesday showed rescuers extending an aerial ladder over the ice to reach the pair in the sinking vehicle.
“The extreme winds, snow and tide continued to move the vehicle and cause it to fill with water,” Matt Palmer, deputy chief of the Stamford Fire Department, said on its website.
Snow up to 76cm deep was dumped across the US northeast on Monday and Tuesday, killing three people and shutting down transport.
Some of the Stamford rescuers swam through the freezing waters of the Sound to pull the white pick-up truck’s occupants to safety before it sank completely in the 32-hectare beach-fringing Cummings Park.
A man pulled from the truck’s cab through its rear window was taken to hospital, but a woman who had been riding in its rear cargo area declined medical aid, Palmer said in the website statement.
Firefighters and divers stayed behind to help lift the vehicle out of the water.
Thousands of households lost power in the storm and COVID-19 vaccination programs were suspended in several states.
But by Tuesday afternoon officials appeared relieved the level of damage had not been as bad as it might have been.
In New Jersey, only about 5000 people lost power, a development attributed to the fluffiness of the snow and effective preparations.
Most commuter train and subway lines in and around New York City were up and running on Tuesday, albeit some on reduced schedules.
New York’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports resumed flights after cancelling more than 700 on Monday and earlier on Tuesday.
Snow could also develop in the Upper Midwest on Wednesday before the storm runs its course.
Officials said they were bracing for another potential big storm this weekend.