- Several feet of snow has already fallen in some areas around Buffalo.
- The winter weather has been blamed for several deaths and scattered power cuts.
- The storm is expected to continue through Sunday.
Parts of western New York state were buried under several feet of snow Saturday morning as a lake-effect snowstorm caused multiple deaths, scattered power outages and icy roads plagued first responders as severe storms battered the region. continued to do
According to the National Weather Service, the storm that prompted eleven counties to state a state of emergency on Friday is expected to continue through Sunday, dropping up to four feet of snow in the Buffalo metro area before it could rain on Monday.
The heaviest snow fell south of the city, with one-day totals ranging from three feet along the eastern edge of Lake Erie to 66 inches in suburban Orchard Park, where the Buffalo Bills were scheduled to play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. NFL officials announced Thursday that they were moving the game to Detroit’s Ford Field because of the weather.
Erie County Executive Mark Polonkarz said in a tweet that two people had died as a result of the storm, “cardiovascular events that were related to exertion while shoveling/blowing snow.” A third person — a snowplow driver in Hamlet, Indiana, about 30 miles from Lake Michigan — was killed Friday when his plow skidded off the sidewalk and rolled, the Stark County Sheriff’s Department said.
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Governor Cathy Hochul has activated the National Guard to aid in the emergency response in the area, Poloncarz said.
Meanwhile, inclement weather conditions prompted Buffalo officials to issue travel restrictions across the region. However, the Buffalo News reported that as of Friday evening, officers had issued more than 300 tickets to drivers who violated those restrictions.
Across the region, a mishmash of lake-effect snow blanketed neighborhoods as residents dug in and hoped their roofs wouldn’t buckle under the weight.
Lake-effect storms form when cold air collects moisture from warm lakes, forming narrow bands of clouds that drop drifting snow wherever the currents carry it. The patchwork effect meant that some areas of Buffalo experienced heavy thunderstorms, with storms spewing snow instead of rain, while others saw more modest snowfall with patches of blue sky.
Buffalo’s National Weather Service office said nearly 14 inches of snow fell at Buffalo Niagara International Airport as of Saturday morning, meaning more than 29 inches of snow has fallen there this month, making it — so far — third snowy november On the record. The office said the most snow was 45.6 inches in 2000.
Photos posted by the Buffalo Bills on social media showed Highmark Stadium and its more than 60,000 seats literally buried in snow, and CBS News posted video of a snowplow helping another plow through snow. doing.
Scott Fleetwood of West Seneca captured video of lightning outside his home overnight, as snow quickly buried pumpkins on his porch.
“The sky is white…. Everything is white. The only thing you can really see is the house across the street,” he said. “My tiki bar is now an igloo.”
Buffalo has experienced dramatic lake-effect blizzards, only slightly worse than the November 2014 storm. That epic storm dumped 7 feet of snow on some communities in three days, ripped roofs off more than 100 vehicles along the lake shore, and trapped motorists on the New York State Thruway.
Hochul declared a state of emergency on Thursday for parts of western New York, including communities along Lake Erie and the east end of Lake Ontario. The announcement covers 11 counties that have banned all vehicles from a section of Interstate 90.
Contributing: Ashley R. Williams and Doyle Rice USA Today; The Associated Press.