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New York Massive Snowstorm


The MASSIVE snowstorm that struck parts of New York has literally buried parts of the state. Buffalo, New York has received approximately 8 feet of snow. It has caused numerous buildings to collapse and 12 deaths have so far been reported. Residents are struggling as many have been left trapped in their homes!

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2841992/Round-2-Buffalo-braces-wintry-wallop.html
By Michael Zennie for MailOnline and Associated Press
TIP: Click on picture for larger image.
"Weekend thaw and rainstorms could cause flash flooding as snow melts rapidly"

Just when beleaguered Buffalo residents started to dig out from a historic blizzard that dumped up to 65 inches - it's snowing again in western New York.

The new lake effect storm could pile another three feet - bringing the total to eight feet in some places - on a region already struggling to cope with an unprecedented mid-November storm. Authorities have been waging a losing battle to clear away the incredible mounds and the additional wintry blast will make it even harder for the region to return to normal life.

Ten people have died in the storm in western New York and winter weather is being blamed on at least three other deaths in New Hampshire and Michigan. Most of the deaths were either the result of car crashes or people who had heart attacks shoveling snow.

Dozens of truckers remain stranded the New York State Thruway, a vital highway between western New York and the rest of the state. A 135-mile stretch of the highway remains closed three days after the storm first hit. More than 150 abandoned cars are stuck on the highway, slowing down snow plows that are clearing the lanes.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the last of the motorists have finally been rescued from the Thruway today, some 72 hours after they got stuck. Cuomo blamed the drivers for getting on the highway after it had been closed and said they should be ticketed.

However, motorists hit back at the governor, saying that entrance ramps were left open and no signs were posted to stay off the road. They said they were left stranded and abandoned and that, despite assurances from the New York State Police, help never came as they ran out of food, water and fuel. It was not until nervous family members pressured the governor and local officials that state troopers were dispatched to save them, according to the Buffalo News.

Roofs across the region have begun to cave in under the massive snowfall. Five feet of snow on a roof can add weight equivalent to two pickup trucks to a roof. A boy in Lancaster, New York, was hurt when a porch collapsed on him. A house in house in Alden crashed in on itself because of the snow, though the family inside was not hurt, the Buffalo News reports.

About 130 residents of a Buffalo nursing home had to be evacuated after the roof collapsed this afternoon. No one was injured.

On Thursday night, NFL announced that Sunday's Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game would be moved from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo. It will likely be in Pittsburgh, Detroit or Washington, DC.

The Bills were trying to clear out the 72,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium in time for Sunday's game and was offering $10 and hour and free game tickets to anyone who shows up to help shovel.

However, Gov Cuomo on Thursday criticized the team, calling the plan to move ahead in spite of the snow 'impractical' and added that it could 'jeopardize public safety.'

'Everybody would love to see a Bills game go forward, but I think even more, everybody wants to make sure public safety comes first.'

The rest of the country saw a reprieve today, as temperatures warmed significantly. The low this morning in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, was 36 - lower than average for mid-November, but balmy compared to the 20 degrees that greeted commuters on Wednesday.

The Midwest remained frigid - Chicago saw a low of 20 this morning - but lows were in the high teens and 20s across most of the Midwest, about 10 degrees warmer than Wednesday. 

Temperatures will continue to warm until Monday, when highs could hit the high 60s in the Northeast. 

But even good news is bad news in Buffalo. The weekend warm up could bring floods as the snow melts rapidly, fueled by a deluge of rain.

'It is an extraordinary situation,' Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters after touring the region Wednesday and talking to truckers who had been stranded more than 24 hours on the Thruway. 'It will get worse before it gets better.'

More than 300 members of the National Guard have been called up to help remove snow and help clear cars from the Thruway.

The snowfall is so heavy that it cannot just be plowed in most places, It must be loaded into trucks and moved away 

Even for Buffalo, a place that typically shrugs at snow, this was a stunning snowfall — the kind of onslaught folks will be telling their grandchildren about.

Those living in the Buffalo area were already buried under as much as 5½ feet of snow Wednesday, and they awoke Thursday to more heavy snow that could bring 1 to 3 feet more. The new snow and high winds moved through the city of Buffalo with lightning and thunder overnight Thursday, dropping several inches before blasting towns to the south, which were in line for the highest totals, National Weather Service meteorologist David Zaff said.

'This is an historic event. When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records, and that's saying something in Buffalo,' Cuomo said.

The storm came in so fast and furious over Lake Erie early Tuesday it trapped more than 100 vehicles along a 132-mile stretch of the New York State Thruway that remained closed Wednesday.

Tom Wilson, of West Seneca, split a Salisbury steak frozen dinner with co-workers and tried his best to get some rest when he was stuck 36 hours at his warehouse job.

'I slept on a pallet. Then I slept on some office chairs, and then I went back to the pallet,' Wilson said. 'Then I found some sponges to lay on. I found one pack of sponges unopened. That looks like a pillow to me.

'We tried to make popcorn with a two-by-four, two empty pop kegs, some charcoal and a dust pan,' he added. 'It didn't work.'

Bethany Hojnacki went into labor at the height of the storm and ended up giving birth in a Buffalo fire station after she and her husband couldn't get to the hospital. Mother and daughter were later taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Cuomo said Wednesday afternoon that all trapped travelers had been removed from their cars, though some truckers were staying with their rigs.

Asked by reporters how officials could allow people to be snowbound in cars for 24 hours, Cuomo cited a jackknifed trailer that prevented plows from removing fast-falling snow, and drivers' own wrongheaded choices.

'What happened was, even though the Thruway was officially closed, people went on. We didn't immediately block every entrance. It was a mistake,' Cuomo said. 'Part of it is citizen responsibility,' he added. 'If the road is closed, it's closed.'

The storm was blamed for up to eight deaths in western New York, at least five of them from heart attacks. Erie County officials announced the latest death on Thursday, that of a man in his 60s who was stricken Wednesday while operating a snowblower.

Residents of a mobile home park in the suburb of West Seneca were being evacuated Thursday after their roofs began to collapse under the weight of heavy snow.

The NFL's Buffalo Bills offered $10 an hour plus game tickets for people willing to help shovel out the stands in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, in the snow belt southeast of the city.

Team spokesman Scott Berchtold said the team has an estimated 220,000 tons of snow to remove from the stadium before Sunday's game against the Jets — more than ever before.

Sunny skies returned to some hard-hit areas Wednesday, but workers were still trying to cart off the acres of snow. Lake-effect snow fell heavily on some northern New York areas east of Lake Ontario.

With an additional 2 feet possible on Thursday, the one-week totals for the hardest hit areas will approach the average snowfall for an entire year: 93.6 inches, or close to 8 feet. It won't stick around, though. With temperatures expected to rise above freezing on Saturday and approach 60 by Monday, flooding is likely to produce the next challenge.

The highest snowfall total for the Buffalo area this time was 65 inches, recorded in Cheektowaga. National Weather Service meteorologist David Church said forecasters haven't determined yet how this storm ranks, but that 60 to 70 inches in 24 hours is probably in the top 5 for the region.

The heaviest 24-hour snowfall on record in the Lower 48 states is 75.8 inches, which fell at Silver Lake, Colorado, in 1921, according to the government.