Military police enforce driving ban in snow-stricken Buffalo

Winter Weather New York Mike Gippon plows snow in the driveway outside his home in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York Power line trucks arrive on Allen Street to supply power to apartments and homes in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Many people lost power where they live due to the recent blizzard. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow off their car after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A payloader helps with snow removal after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A stranded car is seen in a neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A person walks the in the street after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A plow clears snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Alex King rides a snowmobile through a neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A utility worker walks up the street following a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow off their car after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Emily Quartley tries to avoid falling while running in a large amount of snow in a Walgreens parking lot in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow off their car after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York John Strokowski plows snow off a sidewalk outside in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York Mike Draves skis down a snowy road in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Pedestrians cross the street on Delaware Avenue during a snowy day in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow with a snow blower after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A car stranded in snow sits in the parking lot of Walgreens in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A car still covered in snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Dennis Waite walks outside Owl Eyes Cafe on Allen Street on a snowy day in Buffalo, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York Kyle Teed scrapes snow off of his friend's car in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cook/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A house covered in snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Utility worker trucks parked in a neighborhood after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A utility pole snapped after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York Mike Sweeney tries to clear snow away from his girlfriend's Volkswagen Tiguan outside their home in Buffalo, N.Y.'s Elmwood Village on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. The couple has been out of power since Friday, Dec. 23, due to the blizzard. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York New York State Thruway after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A New York State Trooper car block the entrance to route 198 after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A snow removal truck clears snow off route 33 after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A child runs through the snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A house covered in snow after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York People attempt to get a car started after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Winter Weather New York A person clears snow off their porch after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Amherst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
APTOPIX Winter Weather New York An aerial view of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y., which remains coated in a blanket of snow after a blizzard, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York An abandoned vehicle remains on the Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo, N.Y. several days after it was abandoned during the blizzard Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. A driving ban remains in effect in the city as cleanup continues. (Derek Gee /The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York Fordham Avenue, center, and the 1901 Pan-American Exposition neighborhood of Buffalo, N.Y. is coated in a blanket of snow after the blizzard, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations. (Derek Gee /The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York A blanket of snow covers Bedford Avenue in Buffalo, N.Y. after the the blizzard, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations.(Derek Gee /The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather Nevada The Truckee River flows through Downtown Reno, Nev., during a winter storm on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. Winter storm warnings have been issued Tuesday for the Sierra Nevada, where motorists are advised that the combination of winds and snow could make travel hazardous. (Jason Bean//The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)
Winter Weather Michigan A man views the ice covered St. Joseph Lighthouses, from the safety of Tiscornia Beach Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in St. Joseph, Mich.(Don Campbell /The Herald-Palladium via AP)
Winter Weather Florida FILE - A farm manager holds a ripe tomato on March 28, 2020, in Homestead, Fla. Florida's citrus, fruit and vegetable crops appear to have escaped any widespread damage from some of the coldest weather in years, officials with state growers' associations said Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Winter Weather New York A city worker in a wheel loader clears snow on Norwood Avenue as crews work through the night to reopen the city after a deadly blizzard over the weekend, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York In this photo provided by Jeff Leichtnam kids play on closed, snow-covered Route 198 in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. The expressway has not re-opened since a blizzard roared through on Friday and Saturday. (Jeff Leichtnam via AP)
Winter Weather New York Utility trucks line up in Buffalo, N.Y., where thousands remain without electricity after sustained blizzard conditions on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather New York Carmelo Santiago pushes his bicycle down Rhode Island Street in Buffalo, N.Y., on his way back from a store where he ventured out to restock on supplies, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
Winter Weather Indiana Snow covers the new South Shore Double Track on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Michigan City, Ind. (Donavan Barrier/La Porte County Herald-Dispatch via AP)
Winter Weather Indiana The lake front is almost invisible due to the high winds blowing snow across the frozen mouth of Trail Creek in La Porte County, Ind., on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (Donavan Barrier/La Porte County Herald-Dispatch via AP)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations.

Even as suburban roads and most major highways in the area reopened, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz warned that police would be stationed at entrances to Buffalo and at major intersections because some drivers were flouting a ban on driving within New York’s second-most populous city.

More than 30 people are reported to have died in the region, officials said, including seven storm-related deaths announced Tuesday by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s office. The toll surpasses that of the historic Blizzard of 1977, blamed for killing as many as 29 people in an area known for harsh winter weather.

Greg Monett turned to social media to beg for help shoveling a 6-foot (1.8-meter) pile of snow from the end of his Buffalo driveway so he could get dialysis treatment Tuesday.

“This has been a nightmare,” he said in an interview Monday. Power had been out for a time at his family’s home, he said, so relatives ran a gas stove to keep warm, a practice he acknowledged was dangerous.

“We had to do what we had to do,” said Monett, 43. “We would have froze to death in here.”

His loved ones called 911 when his blood sugar dipped dangerously low and he nearly passed out Sunday night, but they were told it would take hours to get to the home, Monett said. He eventually recovered on his own.

Officials have said at news briefings that it was impossible to respond to emergency calls at the time.

Monett ultimately made it to dialysis after climbing through the snow and having neighbors help dig out his buried vehicle, sister Maria Monett said.

A Facebook group originally created in 2014, when Buffalo was buried under deep snow, has become a lifeline, seeking to help thousands seeking food, medicine, shelter and rescue in the latest storm. Currently managed by five women, the group swelled to at least 68,000 people as of Tuesday.

“We are seeing a lot of desperation,” said Erin Aquilinia, founder of the original group, in an online interview.

The National Weather Service predicted that as much as 2 inches (2.5 to 5 centimeters) more snow could fall Tuesday in Erie County, which includes Buffalo and its 275,000 residents. County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. said officials also were somewhat concerned about possible flooding later in the week when milder weather begins melting the snow.

The rest of the United States also was reeling with at least an additional two dozen storm deaths reported elsewhere around the country, and power outages in communities from Maine to Washington state.

On the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s reservation in South Dakota, snowmobiles were dispatched Tuesday to reach residents after food boxes were delivered by helicopter and trucks over the weekend, the tribe said. Ohio officials assessed water damage in the Statehouse after a pipe burst amid the freezing weather.

Even in central Florida, temperatures plunged as low as 27 degrees (minus 2.7 Celsius) over the weekend. Growers’ groups were relieved Tuesday not to find widespread damage to the fruit and vegetable crops that supply much of the U.S. with fresh winter produce.

In Buffalo, the dead were found in cars, homes and snowbanks. Some perished while shoveling snow, others when emergency crews could not respond in time to medical crises. Poloncarz, a Democrat, called the blizzard “the worst storm probably in our lifetime,” even for an area known for heavy snow. More bodies are expected to be found as the snow is cleared or melts.

The winter blast stranded some people in cars for days, shuttered the city’s airport and left some residents shivering without heat. More than 4,000 homes and businesses were still without power late Tuesday morning.

President Joe Biden offered federal assistance Monday to New York, allowing for reimbursement of some storm-relief efforts. Gov. Kathy Hochul toured the aftermath in Buffalo, her hometown, and called the blizzard “one for the ages.” Almost every fire truck in the city became stranded Saturday, she said.

Hochul, a Democrat, noted the storm came a little over a month after the region was inundated with another historic snowfall. Between the two storms, snowfall totals are not far off from the 95.4 inches (242 centimeters) the area normally sees in an entire winter season.

The National Weather Service said the snow total at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport stood at 49.2 inches (1.25 meters) at 10 a.m. Monday. Officials said the airport will be shut through Wednesday morning.

Roughly 3,000 domestic and international U.S. flights were canceled Tuesday as of about 2 p.m. Eastern time, according to the tracking site FlightAware.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will look into Southwest Airlines flight cancellations that left travelers stranded at airports across the country amid the winter storm. Many airlines were forced to call off flights, but Southwest was by far the leader.

___

Peltz reported from New York. Contributing to this report were Associated Press journalists Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; Julie Walker in New York; and Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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