As snowfall tops 6 feet in western New York, travel chaos ensues days before Thanksgiving

A historic snowstorm in mid-November is stranding drivers and canceling dozens of flights on Saturday, as more than 6 feet (180 cm) of snow pummeled some areas, causing roadblocks and airport closures just days after the event. before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

“A lake-effect snow warning remains in effect from 10 p.m. tonight through 1 p.m. EST Sunday,” the National Weather Service said.

The extreme snowfall “will produce near-zero visibility, very difficult or impossible travel, damage to infrastructure, and may paralyze the hardest-hit communities,” the Weather Prediction Center, an arm of the National Weather Service, said Saturday morning. .

A preponderance of flights at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (69% of arrivals on Friday and 57% on Saturday and 61% of departures on Friday and 40% on Saturday) have been canceled and only a few flights can operate, according to the airport’s website.

Thundersnow, a sort of thunderstorm with snow falling instead of rain, was reported Thursday night and Friday in Buffalo.

Meanwhile, heavy, wet snow downed power lines and trees, leaving hundreds of homes without power.

The storm has already been blamed for the deaths of two people who suffered “cardiac events” while trying to shovel snow.

At press time, 11 counties were in a state of emergency as heavy snow hit the area.

At least two places recorded snowfall totals of more than 6 feet, according to the National Weather Service, namely Orchard Park, home of the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League, had 77 inches (195 cm) in the past 48 hours. , and Natural Bridge, a village in Jefferson County, saw 72.3” (183 cm), historic and record numbers for the area.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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