Buffalo blizzard 2022: Severe winter weather kills 25 in western New York

Buffalo, NY (WABC) — At least 25 people have died across Erie County in recent severe winter storms, according to Erie County Administrator Mark Polonkertz.

“Some were found in cars, others were found on the street,” Polonkaerts said. “I know people who have been stuck in their cars for more than two days.”

For the first time in the history of the Buffalo Fire Department, calls were not answered due to conditions.

Nassau County is lending a hand in response to Buffalo’s dire situation. They will send out the storm response resources on Monday morning.

State Police released this video of officers assisting with snow removal and search and rescue.

The storm raged through Buffalo, with hurricane-force winds and snow creating whiteout conditions that paralyzed emergency response efforts. New York Governor Kathy Hochul said nearly all fire trucks in the city were stranded. Buffalo Airport will be closed until Tuesday, officials said.

At Sunday night’s storm briefing, Hochul said it surpassed the 1977 blizzard in terms of ferocity and longevity.

She urged residents to stay off the road and said the city of Buffalo’s driving ban is not expected to be lifted on Monday.

Of the 16 confirmed storm-related deaths so far, 10 were reported in Buffalo city limits, 6 outside the city limits, 3 in Amherst and 3 in Cheektowaga. It has been. Officials said they expected the death toll to rise by the end of the night.

Total snowfall at Buffalo Niagara International Airport was 43 inches (109 cm) as of 7 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

What’s more, the NWS said this winter’s season’s 92.7 inches so far recorded is not only the most to start the season by Christmas, it’s just 2.7 inches behind normal seasonal snowfall. said.

The crew headed out on Christmas Day in an attempt to contact anyone still stranded.

Frigid conditions and a power outage from several days ago forced people in Buffalo to rush out of their homes and into the heat. But with the city streets under a thick blanket of white, it wasn’t an option for people like Jeremy Manahan, who charged his phone in a parked car after nearly 29 hours of power outages.

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“We have one warming shelter, but it’s too far to get there. We can’t drive because we’re stuck,” Manahan said. “And you can’t be outside for more than 10 minutes without getting frostbite.”

Dijak Ilunga of Gaithersburg, Md., was en route to spending Christmas with his daughters on Friday to visit relatives in Hamilton, Ontario when his SUV got stuck in Buffalo. Instead, they spent hours in the engine of a car that had been blown away by the wind and nearly buried in the snow.

By 4am on Saturday, fuel was almost gone, so Ilunga made the desperate choice to risk a howling storm to reach a nearby shelter. He carried his 6-year-old Destiny on his back, and 16-year-old Cindy cradled a Pomeranian puppy and stepped in his footsteps as they walked through the drifts.

“If I keep driving, I will die here with my children.” He cried as his family walked through the shelter door. “It’s something I’ll never forget in my life.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.


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https://abc7ny.com/buffalo-snowfall-snow-dead-snowstorm-storm/12615828/ Buffalo blizzard 2022: Severe winter weather kills 25 in western New York

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