Buffalo, New York — Parts of New York finally caught a break Sunday after a storm dumped days of snow on towns and cities east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Many businesses were closed in the worst-hit areas, but highways reopened and travel restrictions were lifted in many areas, although up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) of snow was expected in some parts of the lake Monday morning. A position largely avoided in earlier rounds.
“This is a historic storm. Without a doubt, it’s one for the record books,” New York Gov. Cathy Hochul said at a news conference on Sunday.
Snow began to fall Thursday in cities south of Buffalo. On 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 hamlet near Watertown at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
Similar multi-day storms have brought greater snowfall to New York in the past, but Friday’s storm’s ferocity threatened the state’s record for most snowfall in 24 hours: 50 inches (127 centimeters) in Camden, New York, on February 1, 1966.
Jason Alumbach, a meteorologist with the Buffalo-based National Weather Service, said it’s too early to say whether any of this year’s snowfall will break that record.
Hochul is asking for a federal disaster declaration for affected areas, which would unlock some aid. He said crews are checking on mobile home park residents in areas with enough snow to collapse roofs.
Sunday’s football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns was moved to Detroit due to heavy snow.
New York is nothing new to dramatic lake-effect snow, which occurs when cold air picks up moisture from warm water and then releases it in bands of land-blown snow.
This month’s storm was at least the state’s worst since November 2014, when some communities south of Buffalo were hit with 7 feet (2 meters) of snow over three days, collapsing roofs and trapping drivers on new roads. York State Thruway.
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