Although residents in Western and Northern New York got a brief break from the constant barrage of lake effect snow yesterday, authorities are warning that there’s even more heavy snow to come.
Areas like Buffalo and Watertown are already so buried by lake effect snow that many homeowners just see a wall of snow when they open their doors. Some social media users have even posted pictures of doors and walls that collapsed in under the pressure, letting the snow flow into the house.
Many of these areas already have three to six feet of snow, which has made things challenging for rescue workers. A number of people were stranded on roads as the snow piled around them, including several large groups of bus passengers. Even more people remain trapped in their homes with dwindling food supplies, and there have been seven deaths associated with the storm so far, at least four of them heart attacks.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo mobilized 150 National Guard soldiers and airmen to help people stranded in the affected areas, but their job will only get harder when the expected additional snow hits on Thursday and continues into Friday.
Meteorologists are predicting one to two more feet of snow in areas that are already buried, like Western New York, the Tug Hill Plateau in New York, and Western and Northern Michigan. Total lake effect snowfall south of Buffalo is expected to reach eight feet or more.
It’s likely there will be more road closures and delays until the end of the week, and it may take several days to completely clear the high piles of snow left behind by plows.
More concerns lay ahead even as the snow tapers off over the weekend, giving way to warm temperatures and rain. Owners of flat roofs should be on the alert for snow gaining weight from the rain while drains are blocked. This can increase the risk of roof collapses. Owners can mitigate this by trying to safely move some of the snow off their roofs.
“The combination of the warmth and rain will bring tremendous snow melt,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffy told Fox News. “Flooding will certainly be a concern.”
Basement and street flooding are also expected as the mountainous drifts of snow begin to melt.