Buffalo driving ban remains in effect as storm death toll rises

State troopers and military police were dispatched Tuesday to prevent people from entering snow-covered roads in Buffalo, as officials continued to tally the death toll after three days in western New York deadliest storm At least two generations.

Even with the reopening of suburban roads and most major highways in the region, Erie County Executive Mark Polonkaz warned that police will be stationed at entrances and major intersections in Buffalo as some drivers ignore the traffic in New York’s second most populous city. Prohibition of driving in large cities.

“Please, please, please don’t drive in Buffalo unless you’re an emergency responder,” Poloncarz said Tuesday. “It’s ugly on a lot of streets right now.”

At least 28 dead after historic Buffalo snowstorm paralyzes city
Residents of Woodside Drive clear heavy snow in December. 27, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

John Normier/Getty Images

At least 31 weather-related deaths had been reported in Erie County as of Tuesday night. The death toll surpassed the historic snowstorm of 1977, which was blamed for killing as many as 29 people in a region known for harsh winters.

The storm’s death toll nationwide stood at 60 as of Tuesday night, according to the latest figures compiled by CBS News.

In Buffalo, the dead were found in cars, houses and snowdrifts. Some died while shoveling snow, others died when first responders were unable to respond to the medical crisis in time. Democrat Poloncarz called the blizzard “probably the worst storm of our lifetimes,” even in an area known for its heavy snowfall. More bodies are expected to be found as the snow clears or melts.

Winter winds have left some stranded in their cars for days, closed the city’s airport and left some residents shivering without heat.

“The blizzard conditions are certainly gone, but as they continue to open the city of Buffalo, we’re going to be dealing with this blizzard in a way in a few days,” Poloncarz said.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport reported a staggering 51.5 inches of snowfall since 2018. storm hits the area four days ago. The airport will remain closed until Wednesday morning, officials said.

Nearly 4,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Erie County Tuesday night, according to tracking website PowerOutage.us.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport remains closed
On Dec. 12, crews at Buffalo Niagara International Airport scrambled to clear the runway in Buffalo, New York. 27th, 2022.

Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Fresh snow continued to fall on Tuesday. Erie County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. said officials also had some concerns about possible flooding later in the week as warmer weather began to melt snow.

Greg Monett took to social media to ask for help shoveling 6 feet of snow from the end of his Buffalo driveway so he can get dialysis on Tuesday.

“It’s been a nightmare,” he said in an interview on Monday. He said his family had been without power for a while, so relatives kept warm with a gas stove, a practice he acknowledged was dangerous.

“We have to do what we have to do,” said Monette, 43, “and we’re going to freeze to death here.”

When his blood sugar dropped dangerously low and he nearly passed out Sunday night, his relatives called 911, but they were told it would take hours to get home, Monette said. He eventually recovered on his own.

Emergency calls could not be responded to at the time, officials said at a news conference.

Sister Maria Monet said Monet ended up on dialysis after rolling over the snow and asking neighbors to help him dig up his buried vehicle.

There are also warm moments in the storm. A group of tourists from South Korea were taken in by a Buffalo family after their van got stuck in the snow. Army National Guard soldier Matthew Waldman assists a woman about to give birth.

“My mother texted me and said, ‘Hey, there’s a mother who’s in labor and no one can help her right now,'” Waldman told CBS News on Tuesday. “So I decided to go a little off course and go to her address, and I heard her street was completely covered in snow, like waist-high snow.”

Both the mother and her child are fine.

Winter storm causes widespread holiday travel chaos


The Facebook group, originally created in 2014 when Buffalo was buried deep in the snow, has become a lifeline to help thousands of people seek food, medicine, shelter and rescue during the latest storm. Currently run by five women, the group had swelled to at least 68,000 people as of Tuesday.

“We’ve seen a lot of desperation,” Erin Aquilinia, founder of the original group, said in an online interview.

President Biden extended federal aid to New York on Monday, allowing some compensation for storm relief efforts. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited her hometown of Buffalo to see the aftermath and called the snowstorm “one of a kind.” Nearly every fire truck in the city was stranded Saturday, she said.

Hochul, a Democrat, noted that the storm came more than a month after another historic snowfall inundated the region. Between the storms, snowfall totals were not far off the 95.4 inches the region typically sees throughout the winter.

About 3,200 U.S. domestic and international flights were canceled on Tuesday, according to tracking site FlightAware.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it would investigate Southwest Airlines flight canceled That left travelers stranded at airports across the country amid the winter storm. Many airlines have been forced to cancel flights, but Southwest Airlines is leading the charge so far.

The rest of the U.S. also remains under the influence of a winter storm system that spans nearly the entire country.

On the Rosebard Sioux Tribal reservation in South Dakota, it sent snowmobiles to residents Tuesday after delivering food boxes by helicopter and truck over the weekend, the tribe said. Ohio officials assessed water damage at the state capitol after a pipe burst in freezing weather.

Even in central Florida, temperatures dropped to 27 degrees over the weekend. Grower groups breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday after seeing no widespread damage to the fruit and vegetable crops that provide fresh winter produce for much of the United States.

The West Coast is dealing with another major storm system, a Atmospheric Rivers Bring Heavy Rain. More than 164,000 customers in the Pacific Northwest were without power as of Tuesday evening, according to PowerOutage.us.

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