Winter has set in in the northern United States. CNN news reported that nearly 6 feet of snow has already fallen near Buffalo, New York. Two people died, most likely from heart failure while clearing snow. The area weather service warns of more disturbances. There is talk of a “historic blizzard” with “almost non-existent visibility”.
A blizzard closes roads and disrupts flights at Niagara International Airport the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. In some places in the region, navigation is hardly possible. There are also concerns about damage to infrastructure.
In addition to parts of New York, severe weather also hit Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In total, more than 6 million people have been affected. Forecasts are that wintry conditions will continue at least through Sunday, with only brief outages now and then.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said at a press conference Saturday that she expects to break a record in her state. There are currently 15 centimeters per hour. It could mean we could get the thickest snow ever recorded in a single day.” The federal government was asked to declare a state of emergency.
Hochul also said that in Hamburg, south of Buffalo, the roof of a bowling alley partially collapsed due to the snow load. As far as we know, there were no injuries. Many residents of the area have heeded the call to stay in their homes. However, so far 88 car accidents have been reported in the hardest hit area and 280 people have been brought to safety so far by rescue services.
The highest layer of snow ever
The snowfall in some places is among the highest on record in the region, comparable to the eye-dropping amounts that fell during similar storms in 2014 and 1945. “The snowfall total, which began accumulating in some places Thursday night, is not so high,” the meteorologist said. Meteorologist Frank Pereira of the National Weather Service, at NWS headquarters in College Park, Maryland, said, “It’s not only historic for any time of year, but also for any part of the country.”
The storm is caused by cold air absorbing moisture from warmer lakes. Miraculously, some towns within driving distance were left relatively unscathed.
Snow also almost covered the wedding plans of Robert Jung and Maria Ciejlowski, who chose this day for their wedding after getting engaged exactly one year ago. Their reception has been cancelled, and they will be moved to next week. The musician they hired for the church party couldn’t make it, along with more than half of their expected 180 guests.
But they were determined to use one of the two limousines they had rented to drive the bride to church, with Junji driving himself. “Nothing is stopping me from marrying her no matter what,” Junji, 35, of North Tonawanda, New York, told The Associated Press. On the plus side, he said, the snow would make for “nice pictures.”
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