The Bills had a successful weekend in Chicago, beating the Bears handily after a second-half offensive surge on Christmas Eve. But when players got back to Buffalo on Christmas Day, they were met with another challenge and were forced to free their cars from the piles of snow that had accumulated from the massive storm that brought nearly four feet of snow to the city.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 26, 2022
The team was supposed to fly back to Buffalo from Chicago on Christmas Eve following their Saturday game, but the winter storm forced the Bills to fly into Rochester, New York, instead of Buffalo on Christmas afternoon.
“So the airport in Buffalo is closed,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott told his team in the locker room after their win. “We have to stay the night tonight, just hang in, hang in … we’re doing everything we can to get you guys home with your families. This is important. They’re a big part of this also.”
Some reports indicated that the Buffalo blizzard was the worst to hit the city in 45 years, coming close to a blizzard that hit the city in 1977 and killed nearly 30 people. Although the winter storm that struck the city ended on Christmas morning, emergency situations persisted, and at least 28 people have been reported, dead and officials fear the death toll will rise.
Because of the icy conditions, first responders had difficulty reaching people who needed medical attention or were stranded in their cars. Ice and snow pummeled the city, leaving it in scenes that resembled apocalyptic movies. Drone footage near Buffalo posted by WeatherNation showed abandoned cars in the middle of the road that had been almost completely covered in snow and lakefront houses plastered with ice.
NEW VIDEO: Snow drifts are reaching the height of SUVs in the Buffalo area as this historic blizzard gradually winds down. Some cars have been abandoned in the middle of roads during the height of the lake-effect snowstorm. #NYwx #snow pic.twitter.com/0v90aofgsX
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) December 25, 2022
Buffalo is expected to get even more snow through Tuesday with 6 to 12 inches of snow forecasted, according to the National Weather Service.
“This is the worst storm probably in our lifetime and maybe in the history of the city,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said Monday. “And this is not the end yet.”
Hank Berrien contributed to this report.