Snow piles up by the feet in Buffalo area, with more expected

World Today

Mark Settlemyer, left, gets help clearing snow from the roof of his mother’s house from Ken Wesley on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Lancaster, N.Y. Lake-effect snow pummeled areas around Buffalo for a second straight day, leaving residents stuck in their homes as officials tried to clear massive snow mounds with another storm looming.

A new blast of lake-effect snow pounded Buffalo for a third day on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with nearly 8 feet of snow on the ground when it’s all done.

The storm was blamed for up to eight deaths in western New York, at least five of them from heart attacks. Officials announced the latest death on Thursday, that of a man in his 60s who was stricken Wednesday while operating a snow blower.

Now, forecasters say a rapid weekend warmup, with temperatures as high as 60 degrees and rain, could turn all that snow into floods.

“This is an historic event. When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records, and that’s saying something in Buffalo,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters after touring the region Wednesday. “It will get worse before it gets better.”

Even for Buffalo, a place that typically shrugs at snow, this was a stunning snowfall — the kind of onslaught folks will be telling their grandchildren about.

Those living in the Buffalo area were already buried under as much as 5½ feet of snow Wednesday, and they awoke Thursday to more heavy snow that could bring up to 3 feet more. The new snow and high winds moved through the city of Buffalo with lightning and thunder overnight Thursday, dropping several inches before blasting towns to the south, which were in line for the highest totals, National Weather Service meteorologist David Zaff said.

The Buffalo Bills said they are paying $10 an hour, plus game tickets, to help clear the stadium before Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

The storm came in so fast and furious over Lake Erie early Tuesday it trapped more than 100 vehicles along a 132-mile stretch of the New York State Thruway that remained closed Wednesday.

Sunny skies returned to some hard-hit areas Wednesday, but workers were still trying to cart off the acres of snow. Lake-effect snow fell heavily on some northern New York areas east of Lake Ontario.

This story is compiled with information from the Associated Press. 

Read more about Buffalo’s winter storm HERE