27 dead in Buffalo as blizzard hits western New York

Dave Bertola, a spokesman for National Grid, said Monday afternoon that 9,300 homes and businesses were still without power in Buffalo and another 3,000 in other parts of Erie County.

Efforts to restore power have been delayed due to unpaved roads and difficulty reaching low and damaged power lines, he said. “The biggest challenge we had was that visibility was poor and the streets were not plowed because of the heavy snowfall,” he said. “We’re doing what we can to get out of there.”

Beau Duffy, spokesman for the New York State Police, said more than 100 members of the state police are using snowmobiles and other special vehicles to clear roads, reach stranded cars and move vehicles off roadways to accommodate the snow.

Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, Mr. Polancars and Mrs. Hochul said this week’s storm was the worst in their memory. Both were, at times, comparable to the city’s blizzard of 1977, which killed 28 people in the state.

“No one thought we’d see a blizzard here worse than the one in ’77,” said Ms. Hochul, who was 18 at the time of that monumental storm. “We did this week.”

Although Buffalo is used to significant snowfall, this was a record year in some ways. Last month, a winter storm dropped a record amount of snow on the region in 24 hours — 21.5 inches, beating the previous record of 7.6 inches.

Ms Hochul said at the time, as climate change made extreme weather more common, she said she needed to take precautions to prepare for such storms. On Monday, he admitted, “Historical storms are no longer historic storms for us.”

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