Buffalo snowstorm could break national record for snowfall - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Buffalo snowstorm could break national record for snowfall

Posted: Updated:
BUFFALO, N.Y. -

Forecasters say western New York is in for another round of heavy, lake-effect snow. With close to six feet already on the ground in places and winds pushing drifts higher, as much as three more feet is possible tomorrow. The storm is being blamed for up to seven deaths in western New York, at least four of them from heart attacks. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning that a weekend warm-up could lead to significant flooding. 

Forecasters also are saying rain is possible this weekend.

ABOUT THE LAKE EFFECT
   
The images were striking: a city awash in daylight, about to be overcome by a thick bank of snow rolling off Lake Erie. Lake-effect snow happens every year around the Great Lakes, so why was this bout in Buffalo so severe?
   
It's about timing and temperatures, said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
   
Typically, convection draws moisture into the lower atmosphere as cold air moves across a relatively warmer lake, and winds carry the system ashore. This time the air was especially cold, Lake Erie is warmer than it would be later in the year, and the winds stretched the length of the 240-mile-long lake in the right direction, making for an even stronger snow dump that hit land and persisted for an unusually long period, about 30 hours.
   
"In this case, all of those factors have been maximized," Burke said.
   
The good news? Though another round of lake-effect snow was forecast into Thursday, he said, the worst of it has passed.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD

    
Bethany Hojnacki went into labor around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the height of the storm. Getting to a nearby hospital was impossible.
    
So her husband enlisted firefighters aiding a stuck motorist, who turned out to be a maternity nurse at the hospital, The Buffalo News reported. The nurse remained with Hojnacki for hours until a fire department vehicle arrived to take her to the hospital.
    
When that vehicle got stuck, firefighters took the woman to their firehouse, where baby Lucy was born around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, weighing in at 6 pounds and 2 ounces. Mother and baby were later taken to the hospital in an ambulance.


A TEAM TRAPPED

Heavy snow stranded many motorists the New York Thruway. Among them: the Niagara University women's basketball team. The team was coming back late Monday night from Pittsburgh when the squad was marooned for nearly 30 hours.

Players ran low on food and even melted snow for water, but local officials dropped off snacks and drinks. There were 25 players and coaches aboard the bus as well as coach Kendra Faustin's 1-year-old son.

The players' kept their spirits up. They posted selfies from the bus, watched movies and caught the Duke-Michigan State men's basketball game on television Tuesday night. Other motorists came aboard the bus seeking shelter and bonded with the team.

"There's been no complaining at all. They've been joking around: I want a steak, I want a soft taco, a Slurpee," Faustin said. "There's definitely nothing in the coaching handbook to prepare you for this."

State troopers eventually picked them up and brought them to a nearby police station where another bus was waiting.

NOT THE FIRST TIME

There have been other examples in recent years of motorists being stranded on highways during snowstorms.

In 2010, hundreds of motorists were stranded along the same stretch of the Thruway when a tractor-trailer jackknifed and backed up traffic. Some motorists spent 20 hours in their vehicles. In 2009, near the same area, more than 100 people spent the night snowbound in cars and trucks on the Thruway near the Pennsylvania border.

In 2011, a fierce snowstorm trapped about and 1,000 vehicles on Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive, stranding hundreds of people for as long as 12 hours. By the time the sun came up, three lanes of cars cluttered the road with snow reaching as high as the windshields.

In 2010 in Ontario, a snow-swept Highway 402 near the Michigan border at one point played host to more than 300 stranded motorists. Officials said as many as a dozen of those trapped were airlifted to safety by military helicopters, but there were no reports of deaths or injuries during a long, frigid night.

HELP! I'M STUCK. WHAT DO I DO?

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in the snow?

Pull off the highway and make your vehicle visible to rescuers by turning on hazard lights and tying a bright cloth to your antenna or door handle.

Call 911, if you can, and describe your location. Stay in your vehicle and stay calm. Keep fresh air in your vehicle and the exhaust pipe free of snow to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Run the engine at 10-minute intervals for heat and keep a downwind window cracked.

If you have passengers, one person should be awake at all times to look for rescue crews.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



   


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane woman recovering from broken pelvis after purse snatching

    Spokane woman recovering from broken pelvis after purse snatching

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 1:51 AM EST2018-02-20 06:51:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman is speaking out after she was dragged about 20 feet by a car, and nearly run over, after purse snatching. Kathy Kohlieber broke her pelvis and had to be sent to Multicare Valley Hospital. She’s been there since the incident Saturday evening around 5 p.m. Kathy says she went to Walmart, “to get a bag of Cosmos caramel corn, which is so good.”

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman is speaking out after she was dragged about 20 feet by a car, and nearly run over, after purse snatching. Kathy Kohlieber broke her pelvis and had to be sent to Multicare Valley Hospital. She’s been there since the incident Saturday evening around 5 p.m. Kathy says she went to Walmart, “to get a bag of Cosmos caramel corn, which is so good.”

    >>
  • Fergie responds to social media backlash over National Anthem performance

    Fergie responds to social media backlash over National Anthem performance

    Monday, February 19 2018 6:36 PM EST2018-02-19 23:36:00 GMT

    LOS ANGELES - The internet was not having any of Fergie's performance of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the NBA All-Star game Sunday night. The hashtag #fergienationalanthem began trending immediately after the Black Eyed Peas star took the microphone, with many shocked and appalled by her slow, jazzy rendition of the anthem.

    >>

    LOS ANGELES - The internet was not having any of Fergie's performance of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the NBA All-Star game Sunday night. The hashtag #fergienationalanthem began trending immediately after the Black Eyed Peas star took the microphone, with many shocked and appalled by her slow, jazzy rendition of the anthem.

    >>
  • Pullman psychologist charged with rape found dead in jail cell

    Pullman psychologist charged with rape found dead in jail cell

    Monday, February 19 2018 4:34 PM EST2018-02-19 21:34:28 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Pullman Police say the psychologist accused of raping a patient during a treatment session in January was found dead in his jail cell Sunday night. Police say a woman reported that psychologist Dean Funabiki, PhD, sexually assault her during a therapy session in his office.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Pullman Police say the psychologist accused of raping a patient during a treatment session in January was found dead in his jail cell Sunday night. Police say a woman reported that psychologist Dean Funabiki, PhD, sexually assault her during a therapy session in his office.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Spokane woman recovering from broken pelvis after purse snatching

    Spokane woman recovering from broken pelvis after purse snatching

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 1:51 AM EST2018-02-20 06:51:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman is speaking out after she was dragged about 20 feet by a car, and nearly run over, after purse snatching. Kathy Kohlieber broke her pelvis and had to be sent to Multicare Valley Hospital. She’s been there since the incident Saturday evening around 5 p.m. Kathy says she went to Walmart, “to get a bag of Cosmos caramel corn, which is so good.”

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman is speaking out after she was dragged about 20 feet by a car, and nearly run over, after purse snatching. Kathy Kohlieber broke her pelvis and had to be sent to Multicare Valley Hospital. She’s been there since the incident Saturday evening around 5 p.m. Kathy says she went to Walmart, “to get a bag of Cosmos caramel corn, which is so good.”

    >>
  • Pullman businesses hold Dine Out for #3 event for suicide prevention

    Pullman businesses hold Dine Out for #3 event for suicide prevention

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 1:16 AM EST2018-02-20 06:16:05 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Following the loss of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, business in the Pullman area are coming together for a good cause.  Several Pullman restaurants, bars and coffee shops are participating in the Dine Out for #3 event on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in an effort to start a conversation about suicide prevention, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, including depression.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Following the loss of Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, business in the Pullman area are coming together for a good cause.  Several Pullman restaurants, bars and coffee shops are participating in the Dine Out for #3 event on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in an effort to start a conversation about suicide prevention, raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, including depression.

    >>
  • Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 19th

    Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 19th

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 12:45 AM EST2018-02-20 05:45:16 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 19th.

    >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 19th.

    >>