Speed Reads

Not a Winter Wonderland

At least 2 dead as western New York sees massive snowfall

At least two people died as a historic winter storm swept across western New York state, with some areas seeing up to six feet of snow from the blizzard, CNN reported Saturday morning. 

The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said in a statement the snowfall "will produce near zero visibility, very difficult to impossible travel, damage to infrastructure, and may paralyze the hardest-hit communities." In a separate tweet, the center said the storm would be accompanied by "temperatures forecast to be 20 degrees below normal across parts of the region."

As the snow continues to fall, the NWS said snowfall totals beyond six feet have so far been seen in two locations. The first locale, Natural Bridge, has seen 72.3 inches since the start of the storm, a figure never before seen this early into the wintery season, according to the NWS. The second location, Orchard Park - home to the NFL's Buffalo Bills - has seen 77 inches in just the past two days alone. 

Areas across western New York came to a standstill as a result of the weather, The New York Times reported, with roads and highways closed throughout the region. 

While Buffalo itself did not see significant snowfall during the early hours of the storm, the weather soon took a turn for the worst, with whiteout conditions blanketing the city. Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told the Times that the two deaths from the storm were attributed to cardiac events from people shoveling.