New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the activation of the National Guard
Saturday to help with clean up in the historic and deadly snow storm that
battered parts of western New York.
Hochul also announced that she’s filing a request “for a Federal Emergency
Disaster Declaration to unlock critical funds” to support the state’s
There are 150 National Guard members on the ground in the badly-impacted
southtowns, or the southern portion of Erie County, home to Buffalo.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the National Guard was on the
ground Saturday afternoon to "pickup and deliver people whom require
dialysis," according to a tweet.
Intense snowfall continued overnight in the region, hitting Buffalo hard,
Daniel Neaverth, the Erie County Department of Homeland Security &
Emergency Services Commissioner, said in a news conference Saturday. The
rate of the snowfall is up to 3 inches per hour, he said.
The snowfall will continue to impact the Great Lakes region this weekend,
with lake-effect snow, which occurs when arctic air races across the
relatively milder waters of the Great Lakes.
Erie County received the brunt of the snowfall, where two men died on
Friday after suffering “cardiac events” due to shoveling or snow blowing.
In Orchard Park, southeast of Buffalo, almost 6 1/2 feet of snow had
fallen by 7a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
Hamburg, where the roof of a bowling alley collapsed due to the weight of
the heavy, wet snow, received over six feet of snow, while southwest
Blasdell had over five feet of snow.
Natural Bridge in Jefferson County had six feet of snow as well.
There were 88 crashes in Erie County and 280 people had to be rescued,
Hochul said in a press conference on Saturday.
A little over 200 customers don't have power in Erie County due to the
snowstorm, according to poweroutage.us
. This number has gone down from 998
customers who didn't have power Saturday morning.
Buffalo has had about 30 inches of snowfall, according to the National
Weather Service. The daily maximum snowfall record in the city was also
broken, with 16.1 inches of snowfall in one day on Saturday. The previous
record of 7.6 inches in one day was set in 2014.
Mayor Byron Brown says snowfall is coming to an end early Sunday morning,
but the city may receive up to 10 inches before then.
"Unfortunately it looks like more snow is coming," Brown said at a news
conference Saturday afternoon. "We anticipate more snow to fall, roughly
predicted, 8 to another 10 inches of snow across the city of Buffalo,
ending somewhere around 1 o'clock in the morning."
Three warming centers were opened in Buffalo on Saturday where residents
without power can seek shelter, Brown announced on Twitter.
Buffalo Airport closed their runways temporarily Friday night and reopened
them Saturday morning.
Sunday’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns was
moved to Detroit. The team shared a video of quarterback Josh Allen
walking to a plane to head to Detroit Saturday evening.
The heavy lake-effect snow is expected to shift north and through Buffalo
on Saturday, impacting the Niagara Falls area Saturday afternoon. The
strongest bands will shift south Saturday night into Sunday, with snowfall
rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour anticipated.
The storm is then expected to shift back south to the areas already badly-
An additional 8 to 16 inches of snow is possible, with some isolated
locations picking up an additional 12 to 25 inches across the Oswego
Snow will begin to subside Sunday night into Monday. Strong wind gusts up
to 40 mph will also be possible, creating extreme snow drifts and near-
About 4 million are under lake-effect alerts stretching from Cleveland to
Watertown, NY. Most alerts will expire Sunday afternoon, but a few will
linger for the Oswego area into Monday.
Officials are continuing to warn against any unnecessary travel as many
streets have still not been plowed, according to Poloncarz.
A travel ban was set for most of Erie County, including the entire city of
Buffalo, as of Saturday morning, according to a tweet from Poloncarz. The
ban will be downgraded to a travel advisory in the eastern, northern and
western portions of Buffalo at 2p.m. Saturday due to progress being made
in the city, but will remain in the hard-hit south, according to Brown.
"If you come out, you run the risk of getting stuck and really hindering
our plowing operation and our snow removal operation," warned Brown.
So far, New York State Police have issued 392 tickets to people for
violating the driving ban, mostly to commercial trucks, according to
Residents are also encouraged to avoid shoveling the heavy, wet snow and
avoid overexertion if they must shovel.
A state of emergency remains in place in Buffalo as well as in 11 counties
in the western and the northwestern parts of the state near Lake Erie and
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