An “extreme” lake-effect snowstorm in western New York that could bring up to 6 feet of snow to the Buffalo area has claimed the lives of at least two people.
According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Friday, two residents of Erie County passed away from cardiac arrest “related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing.”
As the potentially historic snowstorm hits the area, Erie County, which includes Buffalo, has been placed under state of emergency.
Only those with permission to travel in an emergency are allowed to drive after a countywide driving ban went into effect Thursday night. According to Poloncarz, it was briefly lifted in Buffalo on Friday morning before being restored for the city.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown stated during a press conference on Friday that South Buffalo in particular has been hit “incredibly hard,” which is what prompted authorities to reinstate the travel ban.
Brown said, “We don’t want any driving at all in that region.
Southern Erie County is under a lake-effect snow warning until Saturday at one in the morning. From Saturday night through Sunday afternoon, there will be a snow storm watch in place.
2022, Buffalo, New York Parts of western and northern New York were rendered inoperable by a hazardous lake-effect snowfall that had dumped over 2 feet of snow in some locations.
In the snow, a person strolls around the city On November 18, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. With over 2 feet of snow already, a severe lake-effect snowfall immobilized much of western and northern New York.
By Saturday morning, portions of the area may get at least 5 feet of snow, with snowfall rates of at least 3 inches per hour, lightning, and violent gusts of up to 35 mph.
The National Weather Service forewarned that this would result in “near zero visibility,” “almost impossible travel,” “damage to infrastructure,” and “paralysis of the hardest-hit towns.”
On Thursday night, the prolonged event dropped significant amounts of lake-effect snow throughout Buffalo and Watertown. According to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the lake-effect band off Lake Erie is expected to move slightly north on Friday and stay over Buffalo and the Southtowns, while the band off Lake Ontario will stay slightly north and stay over the Watertown metro area.
As of Friday around noon, 4 feet of snow had already fallen in some areas of Erie County. Between Dunkirk and Buffalo, an additional 20 to 40 inches of snow are anticipated, with some places potentially receiving up to 6 feet of snow.
Area gets ready for “dangerous” circumstances
Due to the storm, New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in 11 counties, warning of dangerous driving conditions and potential power disruptions.
Hochul said at a news conference on Thursday morning that “this is seen as an extraordinary incident.” “That implies that it is risky. That also implies that it poses a risk to life.”
According to Hochul, the weather in Buffalo and other areas of western New York would be “quite similar to 2014,” when the area had a devastating blizzard that dumped upwards of 5 feet of snow.
She said that the National Guard has been activated and is on standby, along with more than 350 plows and 5,700 utility personnel. Beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday, a portion of the New York State Thruway will also be closed to commercial traffic.
Hochul said that “this might continue for a couple of days.” “It will take some time to clean up.”
The executive of Erie County suggested that private companies shut on Friday if the prediction is accurate.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Poloncarz said, “We are going to have a doozy.”
Mayor Brown claims that in addition to receiving assistance from the state, the city of Buffalo has hired private companies to deal with the snow.
The people has to exercise patience since this is not a typical snow occurrence for our area, Brown told reporters. This blizzard is significant.
At one time earlier on Friday, more than 100 plows were in use. More resources and private contractors will be brought in on Saturday, according to municipal authorities.
Lake effect snow forecast for Western New York State through Sunday
According to the weather prediction, Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns will now be played in Detroit, the NFL confirmed on Thursday. Initially, Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, was slated to host the event.
snowfall from the lake effect in various states
Due to cold air passing over the warmer Great Lakes waters, lake-effect snow is often seen in the late autumn and early winter near the downwind Great Lakes beaches.
One of the most important winter storms in Buffalo’s history occurred in November 2014 when more than 5 feet of lake-effect snow fell just east of Buffalo, according to the National Weather Service. 13 people died as a result of the storm. Days later, a second lake-effect storm dumped 1 to 4 more feet of snow in the same region, bringing the combined accumulation from the two storms to about 7 feet.
Lake-effect snow is predicted for a number of states, including Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, in addition to New York.
At least 13 inches of snow have fallen in Buchanan, Michigan, while more than 22 inches of lake-effect snow have fallen in Gile, Wisconsin.