Western New York struggles under major snowstorm, 2 dead

Schools in Buffalo closed on Friday while Amtrak stations in the city, as well as in Niagara Falls and Depew, closed earlier on Thursday.

Updated: November 18, 2022 - 7:32pm

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A major lake effect snowstorm hit New York on Friday, dropping roughly three feet of snow on the western side of the Empire State by mid-afternoon.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz attributed two deaths to "cardiac events related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing," according to the Associated Press.

Schools in Buffalo closed on Friday while Amtrak stations in the city, as well as in Niagara Falls and Depew, closed earlier on Thursday. Many flights to and from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport were canceled outright.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Thursday for 11 counties in western New York, many situated on the shores of the Great Lakes. Commercial truck traffic has been banned on parts of I-90.

The governor was adamant that the state had the situation in hand, telling local radio station WBEN "I am so proud of Western New Yorkers for heeding our call to stay off the roads last night; it was treacherous."

"And as a result, we were able to salt, we were able to clear the roads better than we would’ve if they had been filled with traffic, and we really avoided a large number of accidents," she concluded.