Buffalo Snow Storm 2022: Death toll rises to 12 in western New York

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Buffalo, NY (WABC) — Sunday’s death toll rose to 12 after a storm that threw up to four feet of snow across Buffalo and western New York.

Erie County Administrator Mark Polonkers said some were found in cars, while others were found on the street. “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.

The storm raged through Buffalo, with the hurricane’s high winds and snow creating whiteout conditions that paralyzed emergency response efforts – New York Governor Kathy Hochul said nearly every fire engine in the city was stranded. – and closed the airport until Tuesday, according to sources.

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 12 confirmed storm-related deaths so far, the victims ranged in age from 26 to 93. 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.

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.”

The storm caused power outages in communities from Maine to Seattle. According to, fewer than 200,000 customers were out of service at 3pm EDT Sunday, down from a peak of 1.7 million.

Concerns about rolling blackouts across the eastern state subsided on Sunday after PJM Interconnection said its utility could meet the day’s peak power demand. Mid-Atlantic power grid operators called on 65 million consumers to save energy amid Saturday’s freeze.

Fewer than 6,500 customers lost power in North Carolina, down from a peak of 485,000. In New England, mainly in Maine, he left just under 83,000 people without power and restored power to tens of thousands. About 34,000 homes in New York still had no power on Sunday. Among them are his 26,000 households in Erie County, where utility crews and hundreds of National Guard soldiers battled high winds and struggled to become stranded in the snow.

Storm-related deaths have been reported across the country in recent days. Twelve of him, aged 26 to his 93, died in Erie County, New York, and in Niagara County, a 27-year-old man was struck by carbon monoxide. After snow blocked his furnace. In Ohio, he electrocuted 10 people, including those killed in multiple car accidents. He killed six motorists in crashes in Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky. A Vermont woman struck by a fallen branch. An apparently homeless man found in freezing temperatures in Colorado. A woman fell into the ice of the Wisconsin River.

In Jackson, Mississippi, on Christmas Day, city officials announced that residents will have to boil their drinking water after frigid temperatures burst water pipes. It’s been below freezing for the first time in five years.National Weather Service – Drops helping a cold-blooded iguana fall from a tree.

In Buffalo, William Kress got up at 3:00 am on Sunday. He called his three children to his mother’s house and wished him a Merry Christmas before riding his second day on a snowmobile as a warm refuge from a stranded car and frigid house. Moved people to the operating church.

He said he brought about 15 people to a church in Buffalo on Saturday in heavy, wind-blown snow. He was also able to bring home a man in need of dialysis who had been stuck in his car for 17 hours, where he was able to receive treatment.

“I felt like I had to,” Kress said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.


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