Buffalo blizzard: Three people freeze to death as search team 'prepares to encounter more fatalities'
BUFFALO NEWYORK: Governor Kathy Hochul of New York activated the National Guard on Saturday, December 24 afternoon in response to the winter storm that has affected much of the country. Hochul dispatched more than 50 soldiers from the New York National Guard to aid New Yorkers who were unable to travel due to the emergency.
Two fatalities from the storm were announced by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, with both occurring in Cheektowaga, about 7 miles east of downtown Buffalo. The deaths were categorized as "emergency medical events that responders could not get to." A third death was reported Saturday afternoon, as a body was found in the city, reports said.
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The Medical Examiner's office can confirm three fatalities - two in Cheektowaga reported earlier, and one from the City of Buffalo.— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) December 24, 2022
All other reports are rumors. These three are the only confirmed fatalities.
Poloncarz added that Erie County, New York, where Buffalo is located, is "preparing to encounter more fatalities" as search and rescue missions continue throughout the day. Around 19 weather-related fatalities have been recorded around the nation, the Daily Mail claimed, citing officials. The deaths occurred in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, and Ohio, as per NBC, besides recent deaths in Erie County.
It said that more deaths are expected in the coming days. The storm is impacting 200 million people nationwide while leaving millions without electricity on Christmas Day. Friday's total snowfall ended at a record of 22.3 inches in the city, nearly doubling up the previous daily maximum snowfall record of 12.6 inches set in 1976. A total of 28.1 inches of snow has been recorded so far at the airport as of Saturday afternoon.
"There have been 7 dates in the history of #Buffalo snow measuring (since 1884) that have measured 20 inches or more of snow on a single day, including two dates thus far this winter season. Yesterday's 22.3 inches of snow is the 4th greatest calendar day snow measured on record," National Weather Buffalo Tweeted.
There have been 7 dates in the history of #Buffalo snow measuring (since 1884) that have measured 20 inches or more of snow on a single day, including two dates thus far this winter season. Yesterday's 22.3 inches of snow is the 4th greatest calendar day snow measured on record. pic.twitter.com/lg8FSVjXoS— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) December 24, 2022
"In Buffalo, this storm will likely at least jump near the top of the list of worst blizzards in the city’s history, if not even becoming the worst," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda said. "Four to six feet of snow will fall by Sunday and coupled with wind gusts approaching hurricane force [74 mph or greater] to create enormous drifts and impossible travel." "One of the most extensive, most intense blizzards I've ever covered," Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer said as per the service amid the snowstorm. There had been a total of 5,285 flight cancellations today in the nation with total delays within, into, or out of the United States reaching 6,958 as per the flight aware.
Hochul further said, “New Yorkers are used to winter storms, but this one packed a punch and caused complete whiteout conditions in Western New York, however, additional help is on the way,” Hochul urged people, " Please stay home today if you are in areas experiencing blizzard-like conditions and know that roads will be icy across the state as we continue to experience freezing temperatures in the teens and single digits.”
I'm in Queens holding a winter storm briefing. Watch live: https://t.co/HHbb2MrB3H— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 24, 2022