Heavy snow is falling in parts of western New York as a potentially historic storm that has brought traffic to a standstill on major highways threatens to bring down trees, damage property and cause power outages as temperatures soar. you are going down.
Snow totals have reached 5 feet in at least one location. Orchard Park, where the Buffalo Bills were scheduled to play their rescheduled NFL game on Sunday, had up to 66 inches of snow by Friday evening.
Two Erie County residents have died after suffering cardiac arrest related to shoveling or blowing snow, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
“We send our deepest condolences and remind everyone that this snow is very heavy and dangerous,” Poloncarz tweeted.
About 6 million people in five Great Lakes states — from Michigan to New York — are under snow warnings Friday, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.
Buffalo’s highest three-day snowfall is 56.1 inches, which occurred in December 2001, CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said. In fact, depending on the snowfall rate, Buffalo can see a month’s worth of snow in just a few hours. That would make this month the snowiest November since 2000, when a total of 45.6 inches fell in the city throughout the month, Miller added.
The heaviest snowpacks Friday were on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
As the site becomes more demanding:
• As of Friday night, there was 1-3 inches of snow in the area, according to me National Weather Service in Buffalo.
• Buffalo has a curfew on the south side of the city and advisories elsewhere.
• According to FlightAware.com, nearly 70% of outbound flights have been canceled at the Buffalo airport, which has snow around 13.
• The NFL earlier this week moved the Bills’ game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit. The the group hopes to travel from Buffalo on Saturday.
• Hamburg, about 15 miles south of Buffalo, had about 34 feet of snow at 8 a.m.
• Buffalo public schools are closed on Friday. The same goes for Erie County services.
“In areas where snow falls that quickly, it can be very dangerous,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.” “Fortunately, most of the Buffalo metro area is in good shape. … The Buffalo south has been hit hard just like the cities of Buffalo were hit hard.”
Earlier, New York Governor Kathy Hochul asked residents to be cautious this weekend and described the storm as a “major, major” snow event that could be as life-threatening as the blizzard of November 2014 which killed 20 people in Buffalo. space.
Hochul declared a state of emergency for 11 districts.
“This is a very powerful storm,” Brown told CNN. “Right now, most of the city is in good shape – South Buffalo is getting hit hard. We expect the whole city to be hit hard” later in the day.
Nicole Erb told CNN early Friday afternoon: “There’s chaos out here,” behind her Orchard Park home.
He estimated he had about 4 feet of snow around his house.
This is not Erb’s first snowstorm as he has lived in New York his entire life. He said: “We know how to deal with it, it is to remove people from the road so that the plows can do their things, visit your elderly neighbors and not use generators in an inappropriate way.”
But even some of the people clearing the roads were getting stuck, said Poloncarz, the Erie County sheriff.
“There are cars lying on the roads that should not be driven. There are some snow plows stuck in the worst parts of the storm,” he wrote on Twitter.
Commercial traffic was blocked on the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) between exits 53 and 59, according to the department which works on the highway. Some major areas – including 290 and 990 – were also closed.
Officials in Erie County – which includes Buffalo – also declared a state of emergency and a driving ban starting Thursday night. Driving restrictions in the northern and southern parts of the county were lifted Friday afternoon.
“Lake causing snow from (the storm) is very strong and can cause tree branches to fall and damage vehicles, property or power lines. Watch where you park, and be aware of your surroundings if you go outside,” Erie County officials posted online.
Residents of Williamstown in Oswego County near Lake Ontario have seen 24 inches of snow since Thursday evening, according to the weather service. In neighboring Oneida County, some areas were covered with 14 inches of snow in the 24 hours before Thursday evening, according to the weather service.
The heaviest snowfall occurred a few miles south of the strongest area early Friday evening, according to CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward. But a band of snow is expected to move back north later this evening and move far enough north that the city of Buffalo is in for heavy snow again overnight and early Saturday.
Much of the area gets a break on Saturday afternoon as the snow moves away from the north. The last batch comes on Saturday evening and into the night hours before the snow falls on Sunday.
“Cold air will continue to flow through the region, which will cause a prolonged snow event, which will last through this weekend.” National Weather Service forecasters in Buffalo said Friday morning. “Two heavy snow flurries of at least 3 inches per hour will continue northeast of these lakes tonight.”
Snow on the lake occurs when very cold, wind conditions occur over a warm lake – meaning the lake can be 40 degrees when the wind is zero degrees, Miller explained. Thermal friction creates instability, which allows extreme winter weather to occur.
Other areas affected by the storm include parts of the Upper Peninsula and western Michigan Peninsula, where high winds and heavy snow will also cause near-zero visibility and unsafe travel conditions.