There’s snow, there’s heavy snow, and then there’s Buffalo.
For a city used to being socked by lake-effect snowstorms, what’s happening Friday (and will continue happening) is still pretty extraordinary. An early-season storm is dumping snow at rates of 3 inches an hour, and it’s not ending anytime soon either .
As of early Friday evening, parts of Erie County had already received more than 50 inches of snowincluding the governor’s hometown of Hamburg (37 inches), and the forecast has the storm continuing through Sunday morning. Orchard Park, where the Buffalo Bills play (but won’t on Sunday), had even more (54 inches) — and the storm isn’t done yet.
The latest National Weather Service forecast for Buffalo as of 6:40 pm Friday projected a possible further 10-20″ of snow into Sunday afternoon.
As a result of the massive and historic storm, two people have died, According to Erie County Executive Marl PoloncarzThe Erie County residents’ deaths were “associated with cardiac events related to exercise during shoveling/snow blowing,” Poloncarz said.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a tweet that those in Erie County should “exercise extreme caution when removing snow and continue following the guidance of local officials.”
Is There a Travel Ban in Buffalo?
The storm is bad enough that, even for a place used to tough weather, things are starting to shut down.
NBC affiliate WGRZ reported Friday morning that an Erie County travel ban is in effect for some towns just south of Buffalo.
The station reported minor local power outages as well – lucky, perhaps, given the magnitude of a storm variously described as “incredible” and “crippling.”
It was measured in feet, not inches, in Buffalo.
Erie County Travel Ban
Eric County Executive Mark Poloncarz took to social media late Thursday night to put a travel ban in place, which he said would be revisited sometime Friday.
As of 5 am Friday morning, the Erie County travel ban was still in place for Buffalo and most points south. A few places, like Tonawanda and Amherst, had a travel advisory instead of a travel ban.