Heavy snow is expected to continue across western New York state through Sunday after a historic storm saw some areas in the Buffalo area record more than 6 feet of total snow.
Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Buffalo issued a special weather statement warning that a band of heavy snow with winds up to 30 miles per hour could cause a “snow flurry” in western New York State. doing. It said the band was heading south to the Buffalo and Rochester metro areas.
“This band of heavy snow is producing extremely heavy snow at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per hour,” the NWS said. “Take extra care if you have to travel … rapid changes in visibility and potentially slow roads can lead to accidents.”
While the Buffalo area is used to dealing with heavy snowfall, Mayor Byron Brown told CNN on Saturday, “This storm is much more than what they usually get.”
Erie County, which includes Buffalo, experienced its largest snowfall ever in a 24-hour period on Saturday, according to Erie County Executive Mark Polonkarz.
He said that since the snow began to fall, two people have died of cardiac complications while attempting to clear the ground with shovels.
CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam said as heavy snow slides south of the Buffalo area into southern Erie and Chautauqua counties overnight, an additional 6 to 18 inches is possible in the region, especially in higher elevations.
He said strong winds coming along with the cold front will cause the ice band to extend inland from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario on Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service, two locations recorded more than 6 feet of snow. Orchard Park, where the NFL’s Buffalo Bills play, picked up 77.0 inches in a 48-hour period, and Natural Bridge, just east of Watertown, picked up 72.3 inches — historic numbers for the area.
The multi-day event has made travel difficult in the region, prompting road closures, driving restrictions and flight cancellations the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday.
On Saturday night, the NWS warned that the latest band would make travel conditions severe within minutes.
“Intense lake effect snow is back at the Buffalo office. Visibility is down to a few hundred feet and roads are covered in snow. Stay where you are for the next few hours until this snowband moves through the Boston Hills and Southern Tier Do not pass through NWS Buffalo said,
Erie County Executive Polonkarz said about 400 citations have been issued to drivers violating travel restrictions in the region.
“If you are trying to enter an area where a travel ban is in place, you will be met by a friendly neighborhood New York State trooper who will immediately give you a ticket for violating the travel ban,” Polonkarz said. Told.
He said officials are towing vehicles that are stranded on the side of the road or involved in accidents caused by people traveling during the snowstorm.
Air travelers haven’t fared much better, with dozens of flights to and from Buffalo Niagara International Airport grounded due to worsening storm conditions, according to the airport’s website.
airport set a daily snow record The local weather office said 17.2 inches fell on Saturday, breaking the earlier daily record of 7.6 inches set in 2014.
Buffalo already has 3rd snowiest November this month at airport due to storm local weather service office,
New York Gov. Cathy Hochul touted the state’s storm preparedness Saturday afternoon and said crews are working tirelessly to handle the situation.
“It’s the effort that we brought together: bringing in resources, people, equipment from all over New York State. And because we were proactive in this attack early on, we were able to avert many tragedies,” Hochul said.
She thanked Western New Yorkers for closing major highways, enforcing travel restrictions, and staying indoors before the snow fell, thereby preventing accidents, protecting human lives, and ensuring roads were safe and clear for emergency services. I got help.
Hochul said she is doubling the number of New York National Guard members in Erie County to check on residents and help clear snow.
She is also signing a request for federal reimbursement through a federal emergency disaster declaration.
Winter weather alerts remained in effect for more than 8 million people in six Great Lakes states Saturday evening: Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
Buffalo Mayor Brown said the city could return to “some sense of normalcy” by Monday or Tuesday, assuming the worst of the storm passes by Sunday.
“It’s a very unpredictable storm, with bands of ice moving back and forth, north to south,” Brown said. “The snow came down too fast, too wet, too heavy.”