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PHOTOS: Eye-Popping Buffalo Lake-Effect Snow Goes From Breathtaking to Deadly

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The lake-effect snow machine is known for producing some pretty impressive snow totals. More than once last season, snow totals — during a lake-effect event — were north of three feet. But, the latest lake-effect snow event — in the Buffalo, N.Y. area — is shattering records and leaving even the most snow-hardy New Yorkers in awe.

At least six people have been confirmed dead, WGRZ reported.

“The most recent fatality was announced Wednesday morning. Officials say the victim is a 46-year-old man from Alden found buried in his car. One of the deaths involved a freak accident in Cheektowaga. The others were caused by cardiac issues from shoveling snow.”

Another death occurred when Good Samaritan was struck by a car. The man, from Pennsylvania, was using a “high lift” car jack when the car gained traction and pinned him between the lift and the car.

Snowfall totals in the Southlands area of Buffalo have peaked near five and a half feet. Just for a bit of perspective, the average American man is 5 feet 10 inches tall.

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And there are at least 13 reports of snow totlas in excess of three feet in depth. All of those reports are coming out of Erie County, N.Y. where the lake-effect snowband sat for more than a day. At times, snowfall rates were in the 4 to 5 inches per hour range — making plowing nearly impossible.

“Crews say there is so much snow in some areas it’s like ‘plowing a brick wall,’ and in many situations officials have been walking car to car to try rescuing individuals. Authorities are asking people who are stuck in vehicles to remain in their vehicles until they are rescued,” reports WGRZ.

People in the worst affected areas are being told to stay in their homes and off the roads. A state of emergency has been declared in Erie County and only authorized personnel are allowed on the roadways.

It appears, for the time being, the lake-effect snow machine has turned off the spigot; thanks to an approaching upper-level low. But, in the wake of the low, very cold air and and favorable wind patterns will once more create intense lake-effect snow bands. Lake-effect snow warnings have been issued from 3 a.m. EST on Thursday to 12 a.m. Friday moring.

Forecasts indicate the main focus of the snow could, once again, be just south of Buffalo. An addition two feet of snow is possible.

When all is said and done, more than an year’s worth of snow could fall by week’s end.

This is a developing situation and WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping an eye on the forecast and any details that come out of the area. Check back frequently for updated information.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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