New York National Guard Activated Amid ‘Deadly’ Snow Storm

by Shelby Scott
 (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)

Multiple states along the Eastern Seaboard have been treated to early snowfall this fall. However, on Friday, areas of New York were slammed with what has amounted to more than six feet of snow. The snow storm, which has already caused two fatalities, has forced state officials to activate New York’s National Guard.

NBC News reports that New York Governor Kathy Hochul activated the state’s National Guard in response to the weather emergency. About 70 National Guard members were deployed to multiple cities, but most prominently Buffalo, to help aid in snow removal. Many of these National Guardsmen were deployed to the southern portion of Erie County.

As stated, more than six feet of snow has already fallen on areas like Orchard Park and Natural Bridge, in addition to Buffalo. However, forecasters state the snow storm hasn’t finished with New York just yet. With snowfall amounting to three inches per hour, the news outlet states precipitation is expected to continue to impact the Great Lakes region through the weekend. The historic amount of snowfall is the result of lake-effect snow. Lake-effect snow occurs when arctic airs blows across the typically mild waters of the Great Lakes.

Fortunately, Buffalo should catch somewhat of a reprieve in snowfall on Saturday. The New York city saw record amounts of snowfall within the last 24 hours or so. But now, the storm is expected to start heading north this afternoon. Instead, they storm is expected to head toward Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, though, the break will be short-lived. Late Saturday evening, the strongest bands of the snow storm will head back south bringing one to two inches of snow per hour. Afterward, it will again change direction and affect areas of NY already slammed by the late week storm.

Two New York Residents Dead Following Historic Snow Storm

Friday’s historic snow storm posed a serious threat to homes. Feet upon feet of precipitation caused the rooftop of at least one house in Hamburg to collapse. However, sadly, the heavy, wet snow also posed a danger to residents. The New York storm left at least two people dead Friday after they suffered medical emergencies while clearing snow.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke out about the recent fatalities. He stated both deaths were “cardiac events related to exertion during shoveling/snow blowing.”

Following these tragedies, New York officials urged residents to avoid shoveling, or to at least avoid over-exerting themselves while doing so.

In addition to the structural collapse and the two fatalities during the snow storm, first responders across the western region of New York received mass amounts of distress calls. An ambulance became stuck in the snow in the middle of an intersection with a tow truck unable to pull it out. Firefighters responded to dozens of distress calls as New York drivers became stranded during the snow storm.