BUFFALO, N.Y — The storm unleashed its full fury on Buffalo, with hurricane-force winds causing whiteout conditions. Emergency response efforts were paralyzed and the city’s international airport was shut down.
At least three people died in the Buffalo area, including two who suffered medical emergencies in their homes and couldn’t be saved because emergency crews were unable to reach them amid historic blizzard conditions.
Deep snow, single-digit temperatures and day-old power outages sent Buffalo residents scrambling Saturday to get out of their houses to anywhere that had heat
Forecasters said 28 inches of snow accumulated as of Saturday in Buffalo. Last month, areas just south of the city saw a record 6 feet of snow from a single storm.
The latest storm knocked out the furnace in the Buffalo home of Brian LaPrade, who woke up Saturday morning to indoor temperatures dipping to below 50 degrees.
“This morning I had to go out and dig out the vents,” LaPrade said. “As it was, the snow was taller than my snow blower.”
Plows were on the roads, but large snow drifts, abandoned cars and downed power lines were slowing progress.
Western New York often sees dramatic lake-effect snow, which is caused by cool air picking up moisture from the warm water, then dumping it on the land. But even area residents found conditions to be dire on Christmas Eve.
Latricia Stroud said she and her two daughters, 1 and 12, were stranded without heat or power in their Buffalo house since Friday afternoon, with the snow too deep to leave.
“I have to go over a snowbank to get out,” Stroud told the AP. “There’s a warming center, I just need a ride to get there.”
Source: NBC News