BUFFALO, New York — Parts of New York finally caught a break Sunday after a storm spent days dumping potentially record amounts of snow on cities and towns east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Many businesses in the hardest-hit areas remained closed, but freeways reopened and travel bans were lifted in many areas, although lake-effect snowpacks were expected to reach up to 2 feet (0 .6 meters) on Monday morning in parts of the state that were largely spared in earlier rounds.
“This has been a historic storm. This is certainly one for the record books,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a briefing on Sunday.
Snow began to fall Thursday in communities south of Buffalo. On Saturday, the National Weather Service recorded 77 inches (196 cm) in Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and 72 inches in Natural Bridge, a town near Watertown at the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
Similar multi-day storms have brought greater snowfall totals to New York than in the past, but the ferocity of Friday’s storm appeared to threaten the state’s record for most snowfall in a 24-hour period: the 50 inches (127 centimeters) that fell on Camden, New York on February 1, 1966.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Alumbaugh, based in Buffalo, said it was too early to say whether any of this year’s snowfall topped that record.
Hochul is asking for a federal disaster declaration for the affected areas, which could unlock some aid. He said crews were checking on residents of mobile home parks in areas that had enough snow to ruin roofs.
Due to heavy snow, a Sunday football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns was moved to Detroit.
New York is no stranger to dramatic lake-effect snow, which is caused by cool air picking up moisture from warmer water and then releasing it in wind-blown bands of snow over land.
This month’s storm is at least the state’s worst since November 2014, when some communities south of Buffalo were hit with 7 feet (2 meters) of snow over three days, collapsing roofs and trapping drivers in a section of the Nou. York State Road.
SEE ALSO: Weather or Not with Lee Goldberg: Winter Weather Outlook
* Get the AccuWeather app
* More AccuWeather
* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Sign up for free newsletters
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Send photos and videos of the weather
Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.