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Several deaths reported, dangerous trips

Parts of Western New York were buried under several feet of snow Saturday morning, with lake-effect snowstorms blamed for several deaths, scattered power outages and icy roads that blocked first responders as violent gusts continued to ravage the area.

Storms that plunged eleven counties into a state of emergency Friday are expected to continue through Sunday, dumping up to four feet of snow in parts of the Buffalo metro area before mixing with rain Monday, according to the National Weather Service. In some areas, six feet or more were already on the ground Saturday.

The heaviest snow fell south of the city, with single-day totals ranging from three feet along the eastern end of Lake Erie to 66 inches in suburban Orchard Park, where the Bills of Buffalo were scheduled to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. NFL officials announced Thursday that they were moving the game to Ford Field in Detroit due to weather conditions.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said in a tweet that two people had died as a result of the storm as a result of “exercise-related cardiac events while shoveling/blowing snow.” » A third person – a snowplow driver in Hamlet, Indiana, about 30 miles from Lake Michigan – was killed Friday when his snowplow slid off the sidewalk and overturned, the sheriff’s department of Starke County.

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Gov. Kathy Hochul activated the National Guard to assist with emergency response in the region, Poloncarz added.

Zaria Black, 24, of Buffalo, clears out her car as snow falls Friday, November 18, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. A dangerous lake-effect snowstorm has paralyzed parts of western and northern New York, with nearly 2 feet of snow already present.  the ground in some places and perhaps much more along the way.  (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)Zaria Black, 24, of Buffalo, clears out her car as snow falls Friday, November 18, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. A dangerous lake-effect snowstorm has paralyzed parts of western and northern New York, with nearly 2 feet of snow already present.  the ground in some places and perhaps much more along the way.  (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Zaria Black, 24, of Buffalo, clears out her car as snow falls Friday, November 18, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. A dangerous lake-effect snowstorm has paralyzed parts of western and northern New York, with nearly 2 feet of snow already present. the ground in some places and perhaps much more along the way. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Meanwhile, dangerous weather conditions prompted officials in Buffalo to impose travel bans across the region. However, the Buffalo News reported that as of Friday evening, officers had issued more than 300 tickets to drivers who defied the bans.

Across the region, a hodgepodge of lake-effect snowfall blanketed neighborhoods as residents dug and hoped their roofs wouldn’t give way under the weight.

Lake-effect storms are created when frigid winds collect moisture from warmer lakes, forming narrow bands of clouds that dump blowing snow wherever currents can carry them. The patchwork effect means that some areas of Buffalo experienced heavy snowfall, in which storms deliver snow instead of rain, while others experienced more modest snowfall with patches of sky blue.

The National Weather Service office in Buffalo said the nearly 14 inches that fell at Buffalo Niagara International Airport through Saturday morning meant more than 29 inches of snow had fallen there this month, making it – until now – the third snowiest November checked in. The snowiest was 45.6 inches in 2000, the bureau said.

Photos posted by the Buffalo Bills on social media showed Highmark Stadium and its more than 60,000 seats virtually buried in snow, and CBS News posted video of a snowplow helping another snowplow stuck in the snow.

Scott Fleetwood of West Seneca captured video of lightning crashing outside his house all night, as well as snow quickly burying the pumpkins on his front porch.

“The sky is white… Everything is white. The only thing you can really see is the house across the street,” he said. “My tiki bar is now an igloo.”

Buffalo has experienced dramatic lake-effect snowstorms, little worse than the one that hit in November 2014. That epic storm dumped 7 feet of snow on some communities in three days, collapsing roofs and trapping motorists in more than 100 vehicles on a stretch at the edge of the lake. from the New York State Highway.

Martin Haslinger uses a snow blower in front of his home in Buffalo, New York, Saturday, November 19, 2022, following a lake-effect snowstorm.  Residents of upstate New York are recovering from a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm that dropped nearly 7 feet of snow in some areas and caused three deaths.  The Buffalo metro area was hit hard, with some areas south of the city receiving more than 5 feet early Saturday.Martin Haslinger uses a snow blower in front of his home in Buffalo, New York, Saturday, November 19, 2022, following a lake-effect snowstorm.  Residents of upstate New York are recovering from a dangerous lake-effect snowstorm that dropped nearly 7 feet of snow in some areas and caused three deaths.  The Buffalo metro area was hit hard, with some areas south of the city receiving more than 5 feet early Saturday.

Hochul declared a state of emergency in parts of Western New York on Thursday, including communities along the eastern ends of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. The declaration covers 11 counties, with all vehicles banned on a stretch of Interstate 90.

Contributors: Ashley R. Williams and Doyle Rice USA TODAY; The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Several feet of lake-effect snow in Buffalo; the snowstorm continues