Parts of New York finally took a break the Sunday afterdropping potentially record-breaking amounts of snow to cities and towns east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Many businesses in the hardest-hit areas remained closed, but highways have reopened and travel bans have been lifted in many areas, although lake-effect snowfall was expected to rise to 2 feet (0.6 meters) in parts of the country by Monday morning ). state that had been largely spared in earlier rounds.
“It was a historic storm,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at a Sunday briefing. “Without a doubt, this is one of the records. And as someone who comes from Buffalo and lives upstate all my life, we’ve seen a lot of snow. you know, just a multi-day snow party anywhere from Natural Bridge in the North Country to Orchard Park is something you can tell your grandkids about.
Hochul said there were about 1,200 power outages in the state Sunday afternoon, with about 300 in Jefferson County and about 100 in Erie County.
Snow began falling Thursday in cities south of Buffalo. By Saturday, the National Weather Service had recorded 77 inches (196 cm) at Orchard Park, home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and 72 inches at Natural Bridge, a hamlet near Watertown on the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
Similar multi-day storms brought more snowfall to New York City than in the past, but the storm’s ferocity on Friday appeared to threaten the state record for most snowfall in a 24-hour period: 50 inches (127 centimeters) fell in Camden, New York, 1 February 1966
National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Alumbaugh, who lives in Buffalo, said it was too early to say whether any of this year’s snowfall surpassed that record.
Several district school districts have already announced closures for Monday and Tuesday, including Buffalo Public Schools, WIVB-TV affiliate of CBS Buffalo reports. Travel bans also applied in several cities.
According to the WIVB, 77 inches in Orchard Park was the highest total for any city or village in the state. Hamburg was 73.7 inches while Blasdell was 65 inches, with Elma’s 58.2 inches and West Seneca’s 49 inches rounding out the top five.
Hochul is asking for a federal disaster declaration for the affected areas, which would potentially unlock aid. She said teams are checking mobile home park residents in areas where there is enough snow to potentially crush roofs.
The roof and walls of a bowling alley in Hamburg collapsed under the weight of lake-like snow. WIVB reported. Hochul, who assessed the damage caused by the storm on Saturday, noted the collapse of the roof of the bowling alley in her briefing, warning others that “these roofs can collapse if also loaded with the weight of five, six, seven feet of snow.”
Due to heavy snowfall, Sunday’s football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns was moved to Detroit.
New York is no stranger to the dramatic effect of lake snow, which is caused by cool air that picks up moisture from warmer water and then releases it in bands of windblown snow over land.
This month’s storm is at least the worst in the state since November 2014, when some communities south of Buffalo fell 7 feet (2 meters) of snow in three days, collapsing roofs and trapped motorists along a section of the New York State Highway.
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