This may not be the time to insist on global warming to the people of Buffalo, New York, where the freezing temperatures over the weekend have left houses covered in ice, and at least 16 people reportedly died from the frozen weather.
Some reports stated that the blizzard that hit Buffalo was the worst to hit the city in 45 years; in 1977, a blizzard struck the city that killed nearly 30 people. Although the blizzard that struck the city ended on Christmas morning, emergency situations persisted. Sixteen people were reported dead with expectations that the number would increase.
16 dead in severe winter storm that caused whiteout in Buffalo https://t.co/WFUNWCunNu pic.twitter.com/di6s5mfltE
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) December 26, 2022
“I’m not asking. I’m not pleading. I’m telling you: Get off the roads right now in the City of Buffalo,” Buffalo mayor Byron Brown told WBEN radio. “You are adding to the problem if you are driving in Buffalo. People are dying in cars. That’s the reality of it.”
Because of the frozen roads, ambulances had a difficult time reaching some people suffering from medical emergencies. Over 20,000 people reportedly lost power during the storm.
More than 29,000 households still had no power, 20,000 of them in Buffalo alone. Some power substations were frozen over; one even had an 18-foot snow drift blocking it.
Harrowing scenes of frozen buildings could be seen on social media.
🚨#BREAKING: Wild scene from Buffalo as homes are fully covered in ice
Jaw dropping video shows houses covered in ice homes near the water were encased in ice and dripping with icicles from Powerful winds and strong waves from Lake Erie pic.twitter.com/q9GFeEhE6u
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) December 25, 2022
ICE ENCAPSULATION INSANITY at the Buffalo Waterfront. Need crampons bad to dominate this slippery terrain. Looks like scenes from the movie Day After Tomorrow pic.twitter.com/EAfuoBRInl
— Reed Timmer, PhD (@ReedTimmerAccu) December 25, 2022
Global warming in Buffalo NY pic.twitter.com/BaG7RIFcDd
— Joel Fischer 🇺🇸 (@realJoelFischer) December 26, 2022
The Buffalo Police Department’s Ferry-Fillmore district station welcomed people to warm themselves, as did Cleveland Hill High School, where roughly 200 people came.
“It is heartbreaking that people are driving,” Brown said, adding that some people were “out sightseeing.”
“This is a major disaster. It is not the Christmas that we wanted,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. He also said that that with conventional snow-removal equipment was unable to clear some snow drifts, which rose as high as eight feet.
The Buffalo Police Department issued a statement over the weekend reading:
As another reminder, the City of Buffalo remains under a citywide travel ban until further notice. ONLY essential personnel should be on the roadways at this time. If you know someone who is stranded in their vehicle, immediately call 911 and report their location, do not attempt to get to them. Those driving during the travel ban are only endangering the lives of the first responders answering legitimate 911 emergency calls and DPW crews clearing roadways.