By CAROLYN THOMPSON

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A dangerous lake-effect snowstorm paralyzed parts of western and northern New York on Friday, dumping over 5 feet in some spots with more expected to fall through the night into Saturday. The storm was blamed for the deaths of two people stricken while clearing snow.

The storm’s severity varied widely due to the peculiarities of lake-effect storms, which are caused by frigid winds picking up moisture from warmer lakes and dumping snow in narrow bands.

Residents in some parts of Buffalo spent Friday buffeted by blowing, heavy snow, punctuated by occasional claps of thunder, while just a few miles north, only a few inches fell and there were patches of blue sky.

The heaviest snowfall was south of the city. The National Weather Service reported single-day totals of 3 feet (1 meter) in many places along the eastern end of Lake Erie, with bands of heavier precipitation bringing 66 inches (168 centimeters) in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, 48 inches (122 centimeters) in Elma and more than 3 feet in Hamburg, where rescue crews were called to help a resident whose home buckled under the weight.

Schools were shuttered. Amtrak stations in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Depew closed Thursday and Friday. Numerous flights in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport were canceled.

The storm was blamed for two deaths, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, tweeting that they were “associated with cardiac events related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing.”

“We send our deepest sympathies and remind all that this snow is very heavy and dangerous,” he said.

By Friday afternoon, AAA tow truck drivers were having trouble reaching dozens of stranded drivers who defied travel bans and advisories, association spokeswoman Elizebeth Carey said.

“The AAA crews were trying to get to people that had called in saying they were broken down or stranded or had gone off the road in their vehicle. … A lot of our tow truck drivers kept calling in saying that `police turned me away,’” she said. In some cases, tow trucks followed behind payloaders enlisted to clear the way. The AAA passed along other drivers’ locations to police.

Even before the snow began falling, the NFL announced it would relocate the Buffalo Bills’ Sunday home game against the Cleveland Browns from the team’s stadium in Orchard Park to Detroit.

A day later the Bills tweeted photos of Highmark Stadium showing the playing field and its more than …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Dangerous lake-effect snow paralyzes parts of New York state

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *