New York Slammed by Over 6-Feet of Snow Causing Canceled Flights & Road Closures

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

Western New York was absolutely inundated with a deadly snow storm on Friday. Further, forecasters predict that the historic storm will likely endure throughout much of the weekend. Cities like Buffalo, Orchard Park, and Natural Bridge have already received more than six feet of snow. And some of those areas are seeing as much as two-to-three inches falling per hour. With mass amounts of snowfall making travel immensely dangerous, officials have begun ordering road closures, issuing travel bans, and urging flight cancelations. Emergency response to the snowfall began taking place less than a week before Thanksgiving—which typically marks the start of the (very busy) holiday season.

On Saturday morning, the Weather Prediction Center issued an eerie statement. It read that ongoing snowfall “will produce near zero visibility, very difficult to impossible travel, damage to infrastructure, and may paralyze the hardest-hit communities.”

A state of emergency remains in effect for much of western New York as the snow continues to fall. Homeland Security Commissioner for Erie County, Dan Neaverth Jr., practically began begging residents not to go out.

“It’s Saturday,” he said, “There’s absolutely no reason to be out there today.”

The historic snowfall has already resulted in two deaths, so it’s important that New Yorkers heed officials’ warnings.

CNN reports that dozens of arriving and departing flights were canceled at Buffalo Niagara International Airport Saturday. The airport cited worsening storm conditions for the cancelations. In addition to New York, millions of other Americans remain under winter weather alerts. These affect Outsiders in states including Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as New York.

Officials Issuing Citations to New York Drivers Disregarding Travel Bans Amid Snow Storm

Given the severity of the New York snow storm, officials are lacking empathy for drivers choosing to brave the weather.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz noted that snow removal efforts continue throughout the storm. As such, residents are enouraged to stay home. Truthfully, the majority of motorists have likely heeded these directions. However, Poloncarz emphasized that it takes just one or two vehicles to hinder snow removal efforts.

He also addressed employers while speaking about the current weather conditions. He said, “A reminder to all employers: if your business is located in a driving ban area or your employees are currently in a driving ban area, it is illegal to make them come to work.”

Erie County Undersheriff William J. Cooley also addressed motorists as the snow storm ensued Friday night. Making an appearance at a news conference, he said, “I can say that our deputies have been just absolutely inundated with calls for service as it pertains to disabled motor vehicles and stranded motorists.”

He continued, “We implore the residents to just, please, obey the travel ban, you become part of the problem very quickly when you’re out there on the streets.”

So far, Erie County police officers have issued more than 300 citations to drivers disregarding the ban.