The snow continues to fall and the number of casualties continues to climb in Western New York, as one of the most severe winter storms in the region’s recorded history pummels residents.
The exact number of those claimed by the storm is unclear. Sunday night, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed that a 22-year-old woman was found dead in a car in Buffalo. Poloncarz said that made 13 death. Local WIVB, however, reported the number of Erie County victims as at least 18 – 11 in Buffalo, three in Cheektowaga and three in Amherst.
Poloncarz did note in his late-night update that he anticipated learning more.
The number of storm-related deaths could keep growing, Poloncarz said during the press conference. “Unfortunately, we do expect that number to grow,” he tweeted.
WINTER STORM KILLS AT LEAST 12 IN NEW YORK, WITH MORE DEATHS EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Buffalo was 16 degrees early Monday morning with continued snow. Poloncarz announced that a driving ban in remained in effect for Buffalo, Lackawanna, Amherst, Cheektowaga, Clarence, Evans, Hamburg, Orchard Park and West Seneca. He said that as of Monday at 7 a.m., the ban would be lifted in other parts of the county.
“The Thruway and NYS route are still closed,” he noted.
BUFFALO, NEW YORK, WINTER STORM LEAVES THREE DEAD AS AREA BURIED IN 28 INCHES OF SNOW: ‘LIFE THREATENING’
Power outages have also plagued the Empire State during the freezing weather. As of Monday morning, the National Grid had reported that 13,377 people had been impacted by outages, with 12,426 of them located in Erie County.
Poloncarz said that the number in Erie County is still down significantly from Sunday morning, when 26,404 were without power, “so good progress has been made.”
BLIZZARD WARNINGS IN EFFECT AS WINTER STORM HITS PLAINS, MIDWEST, FORECASTERS ADVISE TO ‘AVOID TRAVEL’
Gov. Kathy Hochul said Sunday that she has been in touch with the White House regarding the storm, seeking “critical federal assistance to help our communities recover.”