‘Crippling’: Buffalo Expects Up To 4 Feet Of Snow, State Of Emergency Declared

‘Crippling’: Buffalo Expects Up To 4 Feet Of Snow, State Of Emergency Declared

Buffalo and parts of Western New York are bracing for up to four feet of snow this week.

New York Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon, announcing that the New York State Thruway would be closed to commercial traffic as of Thursday afternoon from Rochester to the Pennsylvania state line.

“Parts of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, Central New York and the North Country are about to get their first snowstorm of the season, which means we need everyone in these impacted regions to be ready for dangerous travel conditions,” Hochul said in a statement.

Ahead of the winter storm forecast upstate, I am declaring a State of Emergency effective tomorrow morning.

We are deploying emergency assets & are in constant contact with local officials.

New Yorkers: Remain vigilant & avoid unnecessary travel during hazardous conditions.

— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) November 16, 2022

“My team and I are deploying emergency response assets ahead of the storm, remain in constant contact with local officials, and are laser focused on the forecast. New Yorkers should remain vigilant ahead of the storm and avoid any unnecessary travel during these hazardous conditions,” she added.

The first phase of the lake effect snowstorm started Wednesday evening. Parts of Erie County were forecast to see an inch of snow per hour, with potential “thundersnow,” according to the National Weather Service, who warned the storm could be “crippling.”

The first phase of our lake effect snowstorm is underway this evening with heavy lake effect snow east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Travel will be difficult tonight from the distant southern suburbs of Buffalo into the western Southern Tier, and in portions of Oswego County. pic.twitter.com/fF3sasmoXU

— NWS Buffalo (@NWSBUFFALO) November 17, 2022

Erie County’s Department of Public Works reported Thursday morning that crews were already at work clearing the roads.

“Please use caution while driving, as many districts are reporting downed tree limbs from wet, heavy snow,” the county’s account reported on Twitter.

Officials issued warnings regarding the extreme weather conditions, with offices and schools closing across the area.

“Despite the unseasonably warm weather of late, winter is here across upstate New York. Do not underestimate this storm. We expect snow to be intense at times creating dangerous conditions and significant accumulation to occur over the event. Now is the time to get prepared and have a plan,” New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said in the governor’s statement regarding the emergency declaration.

“New Yorkers in the affected area who must travel later this week, should take it slow and build in extra time for your commute. And we should all check on our neighbors, particularly vulnerable neighbors, to help them prepare for winter weather in the forecast,” he added.

Heavy snow is expected throughout the Buffalo and Watertown areas through Sunday, according to the latest reports.

Heavy snow in Hamburg as lake effect event starts! @accuweather @WeatherNation @wunderground @NWS @CNNweather @weatherchannel @breakingweather pic.twitter.com/1ZCdsaOpg7

— BuffaloWeather (@weather_buffalo) November 17, 2022

Some have noted that the epic snow accumulation forecast comes ahead of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills game against the Cleveland Browns scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

With up to four feet of snow expected before kickoff, the two teams could relive the memories of their 2007 “Snow Bowl.” Yardage markers were nearly unreadable in the blizzard-like conditions that ended with the Browns winning 8-0 and no touchdowns were scored. Only two field goals and one safety were recorded.

Week 15 2007#BillsMafia @ #Browns
The Cleveland Snow Bowl!!!
Who’s going to Buffalo Sunday for the rematch!?!?! pic.twitter.com/lZwRtaweXo

— 🇺🇸BROWN SPIDER ADVENTURES!!!🇱🇷 #D4L (12-5) (@BrownSpiderCLE) November 16, 2022