Western New York digs out after record-breaking ‘thundersnow’ storm

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Western New Yorkers dig themselves out of a record-breaking blizzard that left some areas under more than six feet of white powder.

More than 16.1 inches of snow fell in Buffalo Saturday, more than doubling the previous daily maximum snowfall record of 7.6 inches set in 2014, according to TBEN Weather.

Orchard Park also broke the state record for most during a 24-hour period with 66 inches, breaking the previous record of 50 inches set in Camden in 1966.

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On Saturday morning, Governor Kathy Hochul told WGRZ that about 70 National Guard members have been sent to the Southtowns to help clear snow in the hardest hit areas, including Orchard Park, where more than six feet of snow was recorded.

“We have to do the major roads first,” Hochul said. “We need to be able to ensure that emergency services and ambulances can reach people who have. That is our main concern at the moment.”

Two people walk through the snow storm in New York.


A car is completely covered in snow during the thunderstorm in Buffalo.

A car is completely covered in snow during the thunderstorm in Buffalo.


Just before noon on Saturday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a tweet that the National Guard had arrived at the county’s Emergency Operations Center and was being used to transport people in need of dialysis.

At least two people have been killed shoveling snow in the Buffalo area since the storm began, prompting officials to warn western New Yorkers to “just fill your driveway with snow.”

First responders help a person who went into cardiac arrest in South Buffalo.

The snow has led to travel bans, road closures and flight cancellations.


First responders help a person who went into cardiac arrest in South Buffalo.

“We need to be able to ensure that emergency vehicles and ambulances can reach those who have. That is our main concern right now,” said Governor Hochul.


First responders help a person who went into cardiac arrest in South Buffalo.

First responders assist a person who has gone into cardiac arrest.


Rescuers in the snow

Western New York has already been ravaged by more than six feet of snow in some areas.


Poloncarz said the deaths were caused by cardiac events related to exercise at a news conference Friday in Cheektowaga. Western New York has already been pummeled by more than six feet of snow in some areas, prompting travel bans, road closures and flight cancellations.

So far, it’s already the third snowiest November in the Buffalo region on record, with more than 29.3 inches of powder falling as of Saturday morning.

A photo of Lake Erie during the historic blizzard.

A photo of Lake Erie during the historic blizzard.


A Buffalo resident smiles for the camera outside during the blizzard.

Currently, this is the third snowiest November in the Buffalo area on record.


A photo of a car covered in snow in Buffalo.

More than 16.1 inches of snow fell in Buffalo on Saturday.


A photo of a car covered in snow in Buffalo.

Orchard Park broke the state record for most in a 24-hour period with 66 inches.


The snowiest November on record was in 2000 when 45.6 inches of snow fell in the area.

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