NEW YORK – For two days now, Buffalo, NY – about 380 miles or about six hours away from New York City – has been dealing with unusually large amounts of snowfall.
Upstate New York residents are used to heavy snowfall in January, but even by Buffalo standards, this amount of snow in November is considered abnormal.
Reports say at least six feet of snow have accumulated in the area, and more is expected today.
“People are saying that some of the conditions they’re seeing, in terms of snow, are worse than what they saw during the ‘Blizzard of ’77’. So the snowfall is that heavy,” said Buffalo’s mayor, Byron Brown. “It’s probably heavier than anything that we have seen in over 40 years.”
As of this broadcast, authorities say at least seven people have died.
Among the fatalities, a 46-year-old man whose body was found inside a car buried in 12 to 15 feet of snow in Alden, NY.
Buffalo’s Mercy Hospital is short-staffed because many employees couldn’t travel, including many of their nurses who couldn’t get in to work.
“In the thoroughfares, making it very difficult for emergency personnel and others to get down the streets to provide assistance, so we want people to stay in the homes if they can do so safely,” said Garnell Whitfield, Buffalo Fire Commissioner. “If they cannot do that safely, if they have a problem with their heating or whatever, then they certainly should call our 311 or 911 systems and we’ll try to get someone to them.”
About 450 customers do not have power Wednesday morning.
Residents of Buffalo, including some 214 Filipinos, are asked to heed the advice of authorities to stay off the streets and stay at home.
Officials say it is not only risky, but dangerous as well.