(CTN NEWS) – New York- For a third straight day Saturday, a lake-effect storm battered areas east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario with piles of snow taller than most people, burying parts of western and northern New York.
In the Buffalo suburb of Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, snowfall totals as high as 77 inches (196 cm) were reported.
Just under 6 feet were reported in Natural Bridge, a village halfway across the state and close to the Fort Drum Army garrison (1.8 meters).
Some areas in the region saw some of the largest amounts of snowfall ever recorded, rivalling the staggering amounts that fell during previous storms in 2014 and 1945.
National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Pereira said that the snowfall totals, which started to accumulate Thursday night in some areas, “would be on the order of historic not only for any time of year but for any part of the country.”
Pereira was speaking at NWS headquarters in College Park, Maryland.
Narrow bands of wind-blown snow from the lake-effect storm, which was brought on by cold air absorbing moisture from warmer lakes, dropped feet of snow in some places while mostly sparing those located a short distance away.
The Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz referred to the situation on social media as “tractor-trailer demo derby day.”
It caused chaos on some routes as vehicles that used smaller backroads to avoid a closure on several nearby interstates found up in major jams.
It also ruined the preparations for Robert Junge and Maria Szeglowski’s wedding, which they had chosen for this day after becoming engaged precisely a year earlier.
Their reception location cancelled and rescheduled for the following week. Along with more than half of the 180 people they had planned to invite, the musician they had hired for their church wedding was also unable to attend.
But they persisted, driving Junge in one of the two limos they had leased to take the bride to the chapel.
According to Junge, 35, of North Tonawanda, New York, “nothing was going to stop me from marrying her, no matter what.”
He pointed out that the snow would “create for some stunning images,” which was a plus.
The National Football League was forced to relocate Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns to Detroit due to the snowfall.
Some of the hardest-hit regions south of Buffalo’s core experienced partial sunshine and a reprieve from the snow on Saturday as the snow bands migrated north.
Although Pereira said different parts in the region were expected to get struck rather than totals climbing too much in the places where the heaviest snowfall had already fallen.
Forecasters predicted several more inches might fall Saturday night into Sunday.
About 70 National Guard personnel were sent by Governor Kathy Hochul to assist with snow removal in some of the most severely affected communities.
Two persons in the Buffalo region died, according to a tweet from Poloncarz, “connected with cardiac episodes related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing.”
Additionally, the lake-effect has caused up to 2 feet (0.6 metres) of snow to fall in certain communities in Michigan that are east of Lake Michigan and south of Lake Superior.
According to the Starke County Sheriff’s Department, a snowploughs operator in the Indiana hamlet of Hamlet was murdered on Friday after his plough fell over and skidded off the highway.
Lake Michigan is roughly 48 kilometres (30 miles) from Hamlet.
Few lake-effect snowstorms have ever been as severe as the one that hit Buffalo in November 2014.
Over the course of three days, the massive storm dumped 7 feet (2 metres) of snow on some places, causing roofs to collapse and trapping more than 100 drivers on a section of the New York State Thruway that ran along a lake.
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