4 deaths blamed on major New York snowstorm

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Upstate New York lake-effect snow 11/21/2014
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4 deaths blamed on major New York snowstorm
Shoveling the roof in Lake View south of #Buffalo #Snovember http://t.co/H5xRwDIY5W
Roof collapses reported in Buffalo after massive storm dumps 7 feet of snow. http://t.co/YR0OkLp2J6 http://t.co/5QqUQevTFQ
Snow-covered Buffalo area faces new risk: flooding http://t.co/NBj5um2TlM http://t.co/8sdGq3fvD4
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Tami Normile and Richard Brooks attempt to remove some of the five feet of snow from a roof top on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Sydney, a six year old Golden retriever, makes her way through five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
Igloos? No. These are homes in Cheektowaga, NY -- outside Buffalo. http://t.co/JISxjcA5gZ
Buffalo, NY was hit with 6-10 feet of snow. That's legit crazy http://t.co/UEXxFAd1gh
Snowed out in Buffalo, the Bills head to Detroit http://t.co/cdg76edkJC http://t.co/54ocRi1Yjn
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Drew Ahmed makes his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Norbert Schnorr attempts to remove some of the five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Sydney, a six year old Golden retriever, makes her way through five feet of snow from a driveway on November 20, 2014 in the suburb of Lakeview, Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Tami Normile and Richard Brooks attempt to remove some of the five feet of snow from a roof top on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 20, 2014: Mike Ostrander tries to remove some of the five feet of snow from his roof on November 20, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Seven deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight and into Thursday. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Drew Ahmed makes his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Olivia Ahmed makes her way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 19, 2014: Greg Mitri shovels his way through nearly five feet of snow on November 19, 2014 in the Lakeview neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The record setting Lake effect snowstorm dumped up to six feet of snow in less than 24 hours closing a one hundred mile section of The New York State Thruway as well as other major roads around Buffalo. Four deaths have already been attributed to the storm and a second round beginning late Wednesday evening will bring up to three more feet of snow overnight. (Photo by John Normile/Getty Images)
Trucks remain stranded on the Thruway outside Buffalo http://t.co/bkoADs6eVB
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 19: In this handout provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from the GOES-East satellite, infrared image shows icy cold Canadian air settles over the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. bringing snow and bitter cold pictured at 12:30 UTC on November 19, 2014. The deep low pressure system is pushing polar air over the Eastern U.S. is centered over southeastern Canada. The storm has already dumped 5 feet of snow outside Buffalo, New York with more on the way. (Photo by NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The inside of Ralph Wilson stadium under a thick blanket of snow and blowing drifts. http://t.co/7Hg3gFcOMI
Tractor trailers & cars stranded on I 90 highway. Snowmobiles checking for any remaining drivers. #BuffaloSnow #nywx http://t.co/275EtMUIiZ
Literally the snow is crashing through homes in Buffalo! @10weather @ABC @AriWeather @Ken_Brewer http://t.co/rzUl4GR5Qf
The longest interstate in the United States is at a standstill. Snowmobiles patrolling on i90. #BuffaloSnow #nywx http://t.co/woBTT2RSRK
Buffalo Police cruiser gets stuck at 1200 Clinton and then bursts into flames. Cops unhurt. #WGRZsnow @WGRZ http://t.co/GwPCPEy2nj
WOW! Around 5 feet of snow closing down Interstate 90 near Buffalo, New York. Photo: NY State Police. #Snow #NYwx http://t.co/h5zTAd3MyA
Photo from Caitlin Battaglia who is stuck on the Thruway near Lackawanna tolls. http://t.co/RVcJCi7q1b
Day two on the NYS thruway. #stranded #snowbound http://t.co/vbwPsXFG71
Take a look at what Troopers were up against earlier today on the NYS Thruway. http://t.co/lm8NGOe99y
Uh. Wow. Alden, NY. Posted by Shannon L Roetzer to @Wgrz FB page. #LakeEffect http://t.co/odyCcxFTcL
Recent storm tracks (fresh snowfall) & more cold air (cloud streets) over Great Lakes today via #MODIS #GreatLakes http://t.co/2upmIfoLn5
Heavy snow forecast for areas of the Great Lakes region. GOES East imagery from 9:45 am EST. http://t.co/tTvWqcmpGG http://t.co/HBC4DuYTId
'I've lost my house!': Crazy photos show New York state buried by snow http://t.co/kz4EdILbhs via @mashable http://t.co/ncAyUxhGjc
Kids and dogs enjoy the snow in Orchard Park. http://t.co/3fU4oVPxYH
@HeatherLyWGRZ shoulder deep here lancaster elma border http://t.co/0GBwtC6Xge
How would you like to open your front door and see this? East Lancaster, NY… Photo from Tara Schwab #nywx http://t.co/tzkaBcVNJp
West Seneca, NY is literally snowed in today. http://t.co/aGy9iNWunw #BuffaloSnow http://t.co/Q1lMkskP6N
The #Buffalo, NY area is in the midst of a truly insane lake effect snow storm. http://t.co/aGy9iNWunw #BuffaloSnow http://t.co/Zacgr8mfGV
Snow day #2 tomorrow? http://t.co/LoJzJPCP5V
35 floors up, looking south across lake. Wall of lake effect snow. http://t.co/280RUY8raj
#WGRZsnow http://t.co/Me7Hvv5vTt
#WGRZsnow Here in Cheektowaga right by John F Kennedy High School! http://t.co/qnfZapRhS5
Genuinely concerned about our safety now, can't see anything! http://t.co/3zGLwVHYoy

A snow wall creeps towards Buffalo in this photo posted by WBEN NewsRadio:

Lake effect from above! Thanks to one of our listeners, Brett Kostrzewski for sending this shot from a plane over the lake effect line just south of Buffalo. Gives you an appreciation of sunshine in one spot and blizzard-like conditions in others. Which side of the line are you on?

This is a wall of snow coming off the lake into #Buffalo #Snow #Weather
Snow Day! #lackawanna @wgrz #weather http://t.co/IgcCQAsFFJ
Buried alive!!! ❄️⛄️❄️⛄️❄️⛄️ guess I'll work from home. Gotta love #Buffalosnow #SNovember http://t.co/z0HIMlyNj4
More photos from the core of lake effect snow band south of Buffalo, NY @FoxMariaMolina @foxandfriends http://t.co/eH94h4G1ik
Good morning from Buffalo. That's a 6ft fence under that snow. Been stuck here for 26hrs now and no sign of moving soon. Also, a new snow front come through later... #tourlife #buffalo #snow #hothandroll
That poor women has been stuck in her car for nearly 24 hours and help has just now arrived
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Four people died during a storm that dumped more than 4 feet of snow around Buffalo and forced motorists in 150 vehicles, including a women's basketball team, to ride it out on a day when temperatures dropped to freezing or below in all 50 states.

One person was killed in an automobile accident and three others had heart attacks, including two believed to be shoveling snow at the time, Erie County officials said.

The snowstorm stranded cars, trucks and buses on a four-mile section near Buffalo. By late Tuesday night, many - but not all - had been freed.

Some motorists had had been trapped for nearly 24 hours. Officials said freeing the vehicles was delayed after two tractor-trailers jack-knifed as they were being moved.

"It seemed like a nightmare. It just didn't feel like it was going to end," Bryce Foreback, 23, of Shicora, Pennsylvania told The Associated Press by cellphone 20 hours into his wait for help. "I haven't slept in like 30 hours and I'm just waiting to get out of here."

Members of the Niagara University women's basketball team were napping on and off 17 hours into their wait. Some got so thirsty they drank melted snow, said Coach Kendra Faustin, who was traveling with her 1-year-old.

Team spokeswoman Chelsea Andorka said the bus, with about 25 players and coaches aboard, was headed back from a loss in Pittsburgh when it came to a halt at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"We were told the National Guard was coming by but haven't seen any signs of life," Andorka said. "The first time they came they told us to be prepared to stay for a while. One tow truck passed six or seven hours ago."

In a region accustomed to highway-choking snowstorms, this one is being called one of the worst in memory. Snow blown by strong winds forced the closing of a 132-mile stretch of the Thruway, the main highway across New York state.

Meteorologists say temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below on Tuesday. They say the low temperatures were more reminiscent of January than November.

In New Hampshire and elsewhere, icy roads led to accidents. Lake-effect storms in Michigan produced gale-force winds and as much as 18 inches of snow, and canceled several flights at the Grand Rapids airport.

Schools closed in the North Carolina mountains amid blustery winds and ice-coated roads. In Indiana, three firefighters were hurt when a semitrailer hit a fire truck on a snowy highway.

In Atlanta, tourists Morten and Annette Larsen from Copenhagen were caught off-guard by the 30-degree weather as they took photos of a monument to the 1996 summer Olympics at Centennial Olympic Park.

"It's as cold here as it is in Denmark right now. We didn't expect that," Larsen said, waving a hand over his denim jacket, buttoned tightly over a hooded sweatshirt.

In Buffalo, Brian Krzeminski watched the snow pile up outside the south Buffalo convenience store where he worked overnight and served free coffee to the motorists and pedestrians who came in off the city streets to get out of the blinding snow.

"There are people that came out to get a few things. We had some people who came in just to get a 30-pack of beer, which is kind of odd," he said. "We've had EMTs whose ambulance got stuck. I'm constantly seeing cars get stuck."

The National Weather Service warned that the snow, generated by cold air blowing over the warmer Great Lakes, would continue through Wednesday and could eventually total 6 feet in places. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo deployed 150 member of the National Guard to help clear snow-clogged roads and remove abandoned vehicles.

"We have tried to get out of our house and we are lucky to be able to shovel so we can open the door. Basically, that's it, open the door," said Linda Oakley of Buffalo. "We're just thinking that in case of an emergency we can at least get out the door. We can't go any further."

"All around us, it's a solid 4 feet of snow that is so thick and so heavy you can hardly move it with a shovel," said Oakley, whose son Todd was with her, unable to make it to work just three miles away.

Jim Lehmann was hunkering down with his wife in their town of Hamburg home, while outside his neighbor's house was barely visible through the blowing snow.

"The main thing to do now is sit in the house and wait it out," Lehmann said. "My neighbor works for a satellite dish company and he tried to get out this morning and he got stuck 80 feet down the street. And he was there for three hours."

The town of West Seneca recorded 45 inches by late morning and Alden, to the east, had 48 inches. But typical of lake-effect snow, areas just a few miles away, including downtown and north Buffalo, had just a couple of inches.

At one point, nearly half of West Seneca's plows were bogged down in heavy snow, officials told The Buffalo News. In neighboring Orchard Park, the highway superintendent called the rate of snowfall "unbelievable," while next door in Hamburg police cars were getting stuck.

Oakley and her son, Todd, were passing the time watching "Dumb and Dumber" on Netflix.

"We can't even walk down to the end of the street and get ourselves a pizza," she said, laughing. "Maybe if you had snow shoes, I don't know."

Must See: Snow Falls At Amazing Rate


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