Blizzard aftermath: Getting back to normal

Three deaths attributed to storm

February 01, 2019 - 5:30 am

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Getting back to normal is the order of the day across Buffalo and Western New York as we put the blizzzard in our rear view mirror.  Only the early Friday morning bitter cold stands in the way of the end of all advisories for the region before temperatures begin to moderate and reach balmy levels by Monday, raising potential ice jam flooding concerns.

Most area roadways have reopened and any travel bans and advisories lifted.  The Skyway, Routes 219 and 400 have reopened.  The ban on commercial trucks and buses has been lifted along the NYS Thruway and state highways.


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The heavy snow and biting cold was blamed Thursday for at least three deaths and possibly a fourth, that of a homeless man whose frozen body was found in a suburban Buffalo bus shelter.

Two men died clearing snow, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, and a 59-year-old man was killed when his vehicle hit a snowdrift and then slammed into a pole in Livingston County, south of Rochester, state police said.

The victims' names weren't immediately released.

An autopsy was planned to determine whether the homeless man found in the village of Williamsville froze to death or died of another cause.


* WHAT...Very cold wind chills. Wind chills as low as 20 below

* WHERE...Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Erie, Genesee, Wyoming,
Livingston, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.

* WHEN...Until 11 AM EST this morning.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The very cold wind chills will cause
frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.


This is a potentially dangerous situation to be outdoors. If you
must be outside, be sure to cover all exposed skin. Frostbite can
occur in 30 minutes or less with apparent temperatures of
15 below zero or colder.

The arctic conditions caused problems from Buffalo to Brooklyn, where about 200 firefighters battling an early morning blaze in a commercial building took turns getting warm on buses amid the frigid conditions.

On Manhattan's Upper West Side, a water main break shut down a section of Broadway as water gushed from manhole covers and formed icy patches at an intersection. Crews shut off the water and spread road salt on the street as utility workers repaired the break.

In New Jersey, firefighters contended with single-digit temperatures as they fought a blaze in a parking garage at Newark Liberty International Airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the fire started on the rooftop of the garage at Terminal C and damaged more than a dozen vehicles. No injuries were reported.

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