A new blast of lake-effect snow began pounding Buffalo on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with more than eight feet of snow on the ground when it's all done.
Erie County officials announced the eighth death related to the storm on Thursday morning, saying a man in his 60s was stricken a day earlier while using a snow blower. The news comes as a new blast of snow was moving through western New York.
Even for Buffalo, a place that typically shrugs at snow, this was an epic snowfall – the kind of onslaught folks will be telling their grandchildren about. "This is an historic event. When all is said and done, this snowstorm will break all sorts of records, and that's saying something in Buffalo," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
The meteorological “kick me” sign on the city hasn’t fallen off just yet. Forecasters say a rapid weekend warmup, with temperatures as high as 60 and heavy rain, could turn all that snow into floods.
Interpol's long trek north
In Buffalo, the band Interpol, trapped on the road in their tour bus since Tuesday morning, finally saw some progress early Thursday. The band had to cancel shows in Toronto and Montreal because of the snow, and have been livetweeting their long delays on the bus.
Can Toronto help?
The head of Toronto’s transportation services, Stephen Buckley, said the city has called Buffalo offering help, but has not heard back. Mr. Buckley said the help Toronto could offer, such as snow melters, would be useful in the later cleanup phase, not for immediate snow removal. The city uses contractors for most of its snow removal services.
The Bills seek shovellers
On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills offered $10 an hour plus game tickets for people willing to help shovel out the stands in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, in the snow belt southeast of the city. Team spokesman Scott Berchtold said the team has an estimated 220,000 tons of snow to remove from the stadium before Sunday’s game against the Jets – more than ever before.
How bad could this get?
With an additional two feet possible on Thursday, the one-week totals for the Buffalo area will approach the average snowfall for an entire year: 93.6 inches, or close to eight feet.
The highest snowfall total for the Buffalo area this time was 65 inches, recorded in Cheektowaga. National Weather Service meteorologist David Church said forecasters haven’t determined yet how this storm ranks, but that 60 to 70 inches in 24 hours is probably in the top five for the region.
The Governor said it would take four or five days to clean up.
With a report from Elizabeth Church