Buffalo, New York — Parts of New York finally caught a break Sunday after a storm spent days dumping potentially record amounts of snow on cities and towns east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Many businesses in the worst-hit areas remain closed, but highways have reopened and travel bans in many areas have been lifted, although lake-effect snowpacks are expected to reach up to 0.6 meters by Monday morning in some parts of the region. A country that was largely spared in previous rounds.
“This was a historic storm. Without a doubt, it’s one for the record books,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a briefing on Sunday.
Snow began to fall Thursday in towns south of Buffalo. Through Saturday, the National Weather Service recorded 77 inches (196 cm) in Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and 72 inches in Natural Bridge, a village near Watertown at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. .
Similar multi-day storms have brought greater snowfall totals to New York than in the past, but the intensity of Friday’s storm appeared to threaten the state record for the most snowfall in a 24-hour period: 50 inches (127 centimeters) fell on Camden, New York , on February 1, 1966.
Buffalo-based National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Alumbo said it’s too early to say whether any of this year’s snowfalls exceed that record.
Hochul is seeking a federal disaster declaration for the affected areas, which could unlock some aid. She said crews are checking mobile home park residents in areas where there is enough snow to dent roofs.
Due to the heavy snow, Sunday’s football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns was moved to Detroit.
New York is no stranger to dramatic lake-effect snow, caused by cool air picking up moisture from warmer water, then releasing it in bands of drifting snow over land.
This month’s storm is at least the worst in the state since November 2014, when several communities south of Buffalo were battered by 7 feet (2 meters) of snow over three days, toppling roofs and trapping drivers on a stretch of the New York State Highway.
Also watch: Weather or not with Lee Goldberg: Winter weather forecast
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