National Guard activated in deadly Western New York blizzard, more than 6 feet of snow fell in region

New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday announced the activation of the National Guard to help clean up a historic and deadly snowstorm that swept through parts of Western New York.

Hochul also announced that she was Submit a Federal Emergency Disaster Declaration Request Free up critical funding” to support the state’s response efforts.

In southern Erie County, where the hard-hit southern town, or Buffalo, is located, 150 National Guard members were on the ground.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the National Guard was on site Saturday afternoon “to pick up people who need dialysis.” tweet.

Heavy snowfall continued overnight in the area, hitting Buffalo hard, Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Daniel Neaverth said at a news conference Saturday. He said snow was falling at rates of up to 3 inches an hour.

Snow will continue to impact the Great Lakes region this weekend with lake effect snow, which occurs when arctic air moves across the relatively temperate waters of the Great Lakes.

Erie County has borne the brunt of the snowfall, where two men died Friday after suffering “heart events” while shoveling or blowing snow. In Orchard Park in southeast Buffalo, nearly 6 1/2 feet of snow fell as of 7 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. The roof of a bowling alley in Hamburg collapsed under the weight of thick, wet snow, which accumulated more than six feet of snow, while southwest of Blasdell had more than five feet of snow.

Natural Bridge in Jefferson County also had six feet of snow.

There were 88 crashes in Erie County and 280 people had to be rescued, Hochul said at a news conference Saturday.

According to, more than 200 customers in Erie County were without power due to the snowstorm. That number was down from 998 customers without power on Saturday morning.

About 30 inches of snow fell in Buffalo, according to the National Weather Service. The city’s single-day snowfall record was also broken, with 16.1 inches of snow falling in a single day on Saturday. The previous one-day record of 7.6 inches was set in 2014.

Mayor Byron Brown said the snowfall was coming to an end early Sunday morning, but the city could see up to 10 inches of snow before then.

“Unfortunately, it looks like more snow is coming,” Brown said at a news conference Saturday afternoon. “We’re expecting more snow, roughly 8 to 10 inches in Buffalo and ending around 1 a.m..”

Brown opened three heating centers in Buffalo Saturday where residents without power can seek shelter announced on twitter.

Buffalo Airport temporarily closed its runway Friday night, Re-open Saturday morning.

Sunday’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns moved to shared a video Or quarterback Josh Allen walking to his Detroit-bound plane on Saturday night.

A man walks through the snow in Buffalo, New York
A man walks through the snow in Buffalo, New York, on Friday. Joshua Bessex/AP

Lake-affected snow is expected to move north and across Buffalo Saturday and impact the Niagara Falls area Saturday afternoon. The strongest snow band will move south Saturday night into Sunday with 1 to 2 inches per hour expected.

The storm is then expected to move south into already heavily impacted areas.

An additional 8 to 16 inches of snow is possible, with some remote areas in the Oswego County area seeing an increase of 12 to 25 inches.

The snow will start to recede Sunday night into Monday. Strong winds of up to 40 mph are also possible, causing extreme snowpack and near-zero visibility.

From Cleveland to Watertown, New York, about 4 million people are under the Lake Effect Alert. Most alerts expire Sunday afternoon, but some in the Oswego area will remain in place through Monday.

A man uses a snow blower to clear snow in Hamburg, N.Y.
A man uses a snow blower to clear snow in Hamburg, N.Y., on Friday.John Normier/Getty Images

Officials continue to warn against any non-essential travel as Many streets haven’t been plowed yetaccording to Poloncarz.

Much of Erie County, including the entire city of Buffalo, was under a travel ban as of Saturday morning, according to a source. tweet From Polonkaz. The ban will be downgraded to a travel advisory east, north and west of Buffalo at 2 p.m. Brown said it would remain in the hardest-hit south as the city made progress Saturday.

“If you come out, you run the risk of getting stuck and really hindering our plowing operations and snow removal operations,” Brown warned.

So far, New York State Police have issued 392 tickets to people violating driving prohibitions, most of them commercial trucks, according to Hochul.

residents are also encouraged Avoid shoveling thick, wet snow If they must shovel, avoid using excessive force.

A state of emergency remains in place for Buffalo and 11 counties in the west and northwest of the state near Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Brittany Kubiko and Courtney Brogg contributed.

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