Residents of western New York go from shoveling snow to loading sandbags as a historic blizzard that killed at least 39 people in the metropolis of Buffalo gives way to a major meltdown predicted to soar in temperatures. increase.
A record 51 inches of snow over Christmas weekend paralyzed New York City’s second-largest city, according to the National Weather Service, and flooding as mercury is expected to soar to 50 degrees on Friday. face the fear of
Warm-ups have already begun, with Buffalo hitting a relatively mild 40 degrees Thursday morning.
As snow piles up around Buffalo and Erie County, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has made available additional resources from the state’s stockpile, including 775,000 sandbags and 312 generators, to help communities. can handle rapidly changing weather.
“New York State continues to prepare for potentially dangerous flooding as this historic winter storm rages on,” Hochul said in a statement Wednesday. “Our state agency officials and local emergency responders have been coordinating throughout the storm. I will continue as long as I can.”
A weekend blizzard brought Buffalo’s total seasonal snowfall to over 100 inches. It’s the biggest the city has gotten so far this early in the season, already exceeding the average annual snowfall of 89 inches.
The blizzard came after a giant lake-affected storm in November threw 77 inches of snow into the area, creating a state of emergency in Erie County.
Hochul called the Christmas weekend storm “the blizzard of the century”, the worst in the region since the 1977 blizzard. President Joe Biden approved the federal emergency declaration in New York on Monday night.
Erie County Administrator Mark Polonkers said Thursday that 37 of the 40 deaths in New York state were in Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo. He reported one storm-related death in neighboring Niagara County, officials said.
Polonkers said 31 of the deaths in Erie County occurred in Buffalo. He said seven of the deaths occurred in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga.
Storm-related deaths confirmed by the Erie County Coroner’s Office included three people who had heart attacks while shoveling or shoveling snow. Polonkaatz said 17 people died from being exposed to the elements outdoors, three died from delays in her EMS, and nine died from having no heating in their homes.
A driving ban, which had been imposed in Buffalo during the snowstorm, was lifted just after midnight on Thursday as snowplows worked to clear the city’s streets.