An early winter "lake effect" storm dropped significant amounts of snow on sections of western New York state on Friday, causing travel disruptions, at least two fatalities, and additional accumulation of ice powder through the weekend.
Three to five feet (1 to 1.5 metres) or more of snow had been dropped by the squalls coming in from Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Authorities stated that the deaths in hard-hit Erie County looked to result from heart attacks brought on by overexertion while clearing snow.
Long before winter officially began on December 21 and as temperatures dropped, the region's first significant snowstorm of the season developed on Thursday and grew overnight into Friday. The National Weather Service predicted that lake-effect squalls will continue through Sunday.
They caused occasional bursts of heavy precipitation throughout the day, covering some regions in several feet of snow. Kim Jong Un's daughter makes her first public appearance at a new launch, according to the article
The Erie County community of Orchard Park, located 15 miles (25 km) south of Buffalo and more directly in the downwind of route of frozen moisture pouring inland off Lake Erie, had received 5 1/2 feet (1.7 metres) of snow by Friday evening, according to the weather service.
By late afternoon, numerous nearby locations had received 3 to 4 feet or more of snow, while Buffalo, the state's second-largest city with about 278,000 inhabitants, had only received almost 14 inches (36 cm) by Friday morning.
Hamburg's partial building collapse due to the weight of snowfall was reported by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, but no other information was immediately available.
As the storm intensified, the weather service cited numerous instances of "thunder snow," a phenomena in which snow squalls were accompanied by thunderclaps and lightning flashes.
The storm caused traffic closures along the New York Thruway and knocked out electricity for thousands of customers. All but five of the nearly 80 flights that were scheduled to leave from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Friday were cancelled, according to the airport's aviation director Lee Weitz.
However, many residents in western New York, who are used to periods of harsh winter weather, appeared unconcerned. The @BuffaloSnowKing Twitter account shared a video of himself standing outside late on Thursday night as snow covered his yard.
He tweeted, "How can you not like this weather!" For a large portion of Erie County's central region, road travel bans that had kept drivers off the roads throughout the night were still in place as of early Friday. In the northern and southern regions of the county, including Buffalo, mandatory restrictions were temporarily withdrawn in place of travel advisories.
Plow operators fought to keep the roads clean as snow fell at a pace of 1 to 3 inches per hour, and the strain of clearing snow proved too much for some. Poloncarz tweeted, "We regret to inform you of the passing of two Erie County citizens due to cardiac incidents related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing.