People Are Posting Wild Photos As Buffalo, New York, Digs Up From 6 Feet Of Snow
Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service in Buffalo issued a special statement, warning of a band of heavy snow accompanied by high winds, creating a "burst of snow" in western New York state.
By Sunday morning, winds shifted more westerly, meaning the heaviest lake-effect snow bands moved south of Buffalo impacting areas from Cleveland to Dunkirk, New York. Buffalo was no longer under a lake-effect snow warning but remained under a winter weather advisory through Sunday evening for "blowing snow."
While the Buffalo area is used to dealing with heavy snowfall, this storm is delivering "much more than we usually get," Mayor Byron Brown told CNN on Saturday. Continue scrolling to check out the images we at Bored Panda gathered to show just how extreme the situation looks.
Buffalo local and Twitter user Alexandra (@eustace225) is one of the people whose picture we featured to illustrate the snowfall. She shared her dog's reaction to it and its expression was so funny, we just had to include it.
"The weather this time of year is usually just cold with maybe some dustings of snow," Alexandra told Bored Panda. "[But] this past weekend was very overwhelming, we broke New York State records with snowfall. We had about 4 and a half feet, personally."
That's right. Erie County, which includes Buffalo, experienced its largest-ever amount of snowfall in a 24-hour period Saturday, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
“This was a RECORD-BREAKING storm that in some ways was more intense than Snowvember, the relatively quick recovery is a testament to everyone’s preparation and planning,” Poloncarz tweeted. “The proactive approach continues to work.”
Alexandra agrees that the local authorities actually handled things very well. "They closed schools and shut down roads and interstates early Thursday before it all started. Declared a state of emergency early and brought in outside help. I think they learned a lot from the storm in 2014."
The “Snowvember” that Alexandra and Poloncarz referred to was a storm in the Buffalo area in November 2014, when almost 7 feet of snow was dumped in just three days. That storm had taken the lives of at least 13 people and the weight of the snow caused dozens of roofs to crumble under the impact.
So far, this storm has taken 2 casualties, who collapsed from cardiac complications related to shoveling snow and attempting to clear the ground, Poloncarz said.
An observation site near Orchard Park, where the NFL’s Buffalo Bills play, recorded a snow total of 80 inches since Thursday, making it the third-highest three-day total ever in the state of New York.
As you can see from the pictures, the multiday weather event has made travel in the region difficult, triggering the closing of roads, driving bans, and flight cancellations the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Travel bans were in effect for much of Erie County, but as of Sunday morning, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that many roads in Buffalo and Watertown have been able to reopen, and “traffic is starting to move again!”
Nearly 400 citations have been issued to drivers who were violating travel bans in the region, Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, said.
“If you’re trying to enter an area where a travel ban exists, you will meet a friendly neighborhood New York State trooper who will immediately give you a ticket for violating the travel ban,” Poloncarz said.
While officials earlier said some vehicles had to be towed after being stuck on the side of the road or involved in accidents, Hochul thanked New Yorkers who adhered to travel advisories and stayed home: "Thank you for just following the directions, staying off the roads, and as a result, all the major thoroughfares are open now in western New York and the north country, with some limitation."
Air travel also has been challenged by the record snow, with dozens of flights arriving and departing from Buffalo Niagara International Airport canceled as conditions worsened, according to the airport’s website.
The airport set a daily snowfall record of 21.5 inches Saturday, shattering the previous daily record of 7.6 inches set in 2014. It ranks as the fifth-highest single-day snowfall total on record for Buffalo and the second-highest single-day snowfall total for the month of November.
Brown, the Buffalo mayor, said the city could return to “some sense of normalcy” by Monday or Tuesday, assuming the worst of the storm had passed through Sunday.
"This has been a very unpredictable storm with the snow bands moving, back and forth, north to south," Brown noted. "The snow has come down very fast, very wet, very heavy."