Buffalo braced Tuesday for more snow after a historic and brutal winter storm buried the region and left more than two dozen people dead.
Up to 9 more inches of snow could fall in some areas of western New York through Tuesday, the National Weather Service said. Up to 3-5 inches of lake-effect snow were possible in the Buffalo area.
“This is not the end yet,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, calling the blizzard “the worst storm probably in our lifetime.”
The storm system, which began before Christmas, pounded Buffalo with as much as 49 inches of snow. The blizzard has left at least 28 people dead in the region, some found trapped in cars and others outside as snow drifts prevented emergency responders from rescues.
The blizzard is one of the worst weather-related disasters in the region’s history and officials expect the death toll to continue climbing.
A thaw may be coming Wednesday
There is some relief in sight: On Wednesday, a warm front is expected to move across north central New York, raising temperatures above freezing, forecasters say.
Ashton Robinson Cook, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the bomb cyclone – when atmospheric pressure drops very quickly in a strong storm – has weakened. It developed near the Great Lakes, stirring up blizzard conditions including heavy winds and snow.
Storm and record cold took a toll across much of the nation
The storm and record cold were felt across much of the nation over the weekend, knocking out power to several hundred thousands of homes and businesses, canceling thousands of flights and leading to at least one one boil-water advisory.
At least 50 deaths nationwide are blamed on the storm.
Storm was unprecedent even for hardened Buffalo
Melissa Carrick, a doula, said the blizzard forced her to coach a pregnant client through childbirth by telephone. When none of the closer hospitals could be reached, an ambulance crew transported the woman to a hospital about 45 minutes south of Buffalo.
“In any other normal Buffalo storm? I would just go because that’s what you do – just drive through the snow. But you knew this was different,” she said.
Contributing: Cady Stanton, USA TODAY; Associated Press