Buffalo, New York — Snow piled up in some places more than most people, buried parts of western and northern New York, and a lake-effect storm battered areas east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for a third day on Saturday, and more could come.
Up to 77 inches (196 centimeters) of snow was reported in the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Across the state, Natural Bridge City, near the Fort Drum military base, is under 6 feet (1.8 meters).
Snowfall in some places rivaled the eye-popping amounts that fell during similar storms in 2014 and 1945, the highest ever recorded in the area.
The snowfall, which began piling up in some places Thursday night, “will be a historic series not just for any time of year, but for any part of the country,” National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Pereira said at NWS headquarters in College. Park, Maryland.
The lake-effect storm, caused by cold air picking up moisture from warmer lakes, created narrow bands of aerated snow that dumped snow on feet in some communities, while leaving cities relatively unscathed.
It wreaked havoc on some roads, as trucks that took short detours to avoid closing parts of an interstate in the area ended up in mass gridlock, which Erie County Executive Mark Bolancarz described on social media as “tractor-trailer demo derby day.” “
It also wreaked havoc on the wedding plans of Robert Jung and Maria Cheklovsky, who chose this day for their wedding after getting engaged exactly one year earlier.
Their reception venue was canceled and rescheduled for next week. The musician they hired for their church ceremony couldn’t keep up with more than half of their expected 180 guests.
But Junge drove himself, using one of two limos he had hired to take the bride to the church.
“Nothing is going to stop me from marrying her,” Jung, 35, of North Tonawanda, New York, told The Associated Press.
On the bright side, the snow is “going to make for some beautiful pictures,” he said.
Snow forced the National Football League to move Sunday’s game between the Bills and Cleveland Browns to Detroit.
As the snow band moved north, there was a break of partial sunshine and snow in some hard-hit areas south of the center of Buffalo on Saturday.
Forecasters are predicting several inches more will fall Saturday night into Sunday, though Pereira said it’s possible that the totals will be higher in areas that have already received heavy snow, and that different parts of the region will be affected.
Gov. Kathy Hochul deployed about 70 members of the National Guard to help clear snow in some of the hardest-hit areas.
Pollencarz tweeted that two people died in the Buffalo area, “associated with exertion-related cardiovascular events during trampling/snowing”.
Lake-effect has dumped up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow in some communities in Michigan.
A snowplow driver was killed Friday in Hamlet, Indiana, when his plow skidded off the sidewalk and rolled, according to the Stark County Sheriff’s Department. The hamlet is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Lake Michigan.
Buffalo has experienced dramatic lake-effect blizzards, worse than the one that hit in November 2014. That epic storm dumped 7 feet (2 meters) of snow in three days on some communities, collapsed roofs and trapped drivers in more than 100 vehicles along the lakefront section of the New York State Thruway.
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