As snow continues to fall in western New York, the number of casualties continues to rise. He one of the most severe winter storms in the region’s recorded history is hitting residents.
Earlier Monday afternoon, the death toll was reported to be 27, but Erie County Chief Executive Mark Polonkers said the number was 25.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said police had recovered 18 bodies in the city.
“This was a very difficult and dangerous storm,” Brown said.
Some of these deaths are the result of people freezing to death while stuck in their vehicles.
Governor Kathy Hochul said at a press conference that there is still a long way to go when it comes to storms.
“If you look at the sky, you know the storm is coming back,” Ho-chul said, adding that “another six to 12 inches” of snow is forecast. He said it was “premature” to say that the storm itself had become a thing of the past.
Hochul also said he worked with the Biden administration to secure federal resources and request a federal state of emergency.
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According to the National Weather Service, temperatures in Buffalo were 16 degrees early Monday morning and snow continued to fall. Polonkaerts announced that driving bans in Buffalo, Lackawanna, Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Evans, Hamburg, Orchard He Park, and West Seneca remain in effect. He said the ban will be lifted in the rest of the county starting at 7 a.m. Monday.
“Thruway and NYS routes are still closed,” he noted.
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Power outages have also plagued the Empire State during freezing weather. As of Monday morning, the National Grid said 13,377 people were affected by the blackout, of which he said 12,426 were in Erie County.
Erie County’s numbers are still down significantly from Sunday morning, when 26,404 people were without power, Poloncarz said, adding, “We’re doing very well.”
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