New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the activation of the National Guard on Saturday to help clean up in the historic and deadly snowstorm which beat parts of western New York.
Hochul also announced that she is filing an application “for a Federal Disaster Emergency Declaration to unlock critical funds” to support state response efforts.
There are 150 National Guard members on the ground in hard-hit southern cities, or the southern part of Erie County, home to Buffalo.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the National Guard was on the ground Saturday afternoon to “pick up and deliver people requiring dialysis,” according to a Tweeter.
Heavy snowfall continued overnight in the area, hitting Buffalo hard, Daniel Neaverth, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, told a conference on Saturday. hurry. The snowfall rate can reach 3 inches per hour, he said.
Snowfall will continue to impact the Great Lakes region this weekend, with lake effect snow, which occurs when arctic air passes through the relatively milder waters of the Great Lakes.
Erie County received the brunt of the snowfall, where two men died on Friday after suffering “cardiac events” from shoveling or blowing snow. In Orchard Park, southeast of Buffalo, nearly 6 1/2 feet of snow had fallen by 7 a.m. Saturday, depending on National Weather Service. Hamburg, where the roof of a bowling alley collapsed under the weight of heavy, wet snow, received more than six feet of snow, while southwest Blasdell had more than five feet of snow.
Natural Bridge in Jefferson County also had six feet of snow.
There have been 88 crashes in Erie County and 280 people have had to be rescued, Hochul said at a Saturday news conference.
Just over 200 customers are without power in Erie County due to the snowstorm, according to poweroutage.us. That number rose from 998 customers who had no power on Saturday morning.
Buffalo had about 30 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The daily record maximum snowfall in the city was also broken, with 16.1 inches of snowfall in one day on Saturday. The previous record of 7.6 inches in one day was set in 2014.
Mayor Byron Brown said the snowfall was ending early Sunday morning, but the city could receive up to 10 inches by then.
“Unfortunately, it looks like more snow is coming,” Brown said during a press conference Saturday afternoon. “We expect more snow to fall, based on the rough forecast of an additional 8 to 10 inches of snow over the city of Buffalo, ending somewhere around 1 a.m..”
Three warming centers were opened in Buffalo on Saturday where residents without power can seek shelter, Brown announced on Twitter.
Buffalo Airport temporarily closed its runways Friday night and reopened them on Saturday morning.
Sunday’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns was moved to Detroit. The team shared a video of quarterback Josh Allen walking to a plane to fly to Detroit on Saturday night.
Heavy lake effect snow is expected to move north across Buffalo on Saturday, affecting the Niagara Falls area Saturday afternoon. The heaviest bands will move south Saturday evening through Sunday, with snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour forecast.
The storm is then expected to move south into already badly affected areas.
An additional 8 to 16 inches of snow is possible with some isolated spots picking up an additional 12 to 25 inches in the Oswego County area.
The snow will begin to subside Sunday evening through Monday. Strong gusts of wind up to 40 mph will also be possible creating extreme snow drifts and near zero visibility.
About 4 million people are under lake effect warning extending from Cleveland to Watertown, NY. Most alerts will expire Sunday afternoon, but a few will persist for the Oswego area through Monday.
Authorities continue to warn against unnecessary travel as many streets have still not been plowedaccording to Poloncarz.
A travel ban has been set for most of Erie County, including the entire city of Buffalo, starting Saturday morning, according to a Tweeter of Poloncarz. The ban will be reduced to a travel advisory for the east, north and west portions of Buffalo at 2 p.m. Saturday due to progress in the city, but will remain in the hard-hit south, according to Brown.
“If you go out, you run the risk of getting stuck and really interfering with our snow removal operation and our snow removal operation,” Brown warned.
So far, New York State Police have issued 392 tickets to people for violating the driving ban, mostly to commercial trucks, according to Hochul.
Residents are also encouraged to avoid shoveling heavy, wet snow and avoid overwork if they have to shovel.
A emergency state remains in place in Buffalo as well as in 11 counties in the west and northwest of the state near Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Brittany Kubicko and Courtney Brogle contributed.