Military Police Enforce Buffalo Driving Ban

They will be stationed at major intersections, entrances to snow-stricken city
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 27, 2022 2:01 PM CST
Military Police Enforce Buffalo Driving Ban
Mike Draves skis down a snowy road in Buffalo, NY, on Monday, Dec. 26, 2022.   (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)

State and military police were sent Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s snow-choked roads, and officials kept counting fatalities three days after western New York’s deadliest storm in at least two generations. Even as suburban roads and most major highways in the area reopened, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz warned that police would be stationed at entrances to Buffalo and at major intersections because some drivers were flouting a ban on driving within New York’s second-most populous city, the AP reports. Poloncarz said 100 military police from the National Guard would join state troopers who are "not allowing people to get through," reports the Buffalo News.

More than 30 people are reported to have died in the region, officials said, including seven storm-related deaths announced Tuesday by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s office. The toll surpasses that of the historic Blizzard of 1977, blamed for killing as many as 29 people in an area known for harsh winter weather. The National Weather Service predicted that as much as 2 inches more snow could fall Tuesday in Erie County, which includes Buffalo and its 275,000 residents. County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. said officials also were somewhat concerned about the potential for flooding later in the week, when the weather is projected to warm and start melting the snow.

In Buffalo, the dead were found in cars, homes, and snowbanks. Some died while shoveling snow, others when emergency crews could not respond in time to medical crises. Poloncarz, a Democrat, called the blizzard "the worst storm probably in our lifetime," even for an area known for heavy snow. More bodies are expected to be found as the snow is cleared or melts. The winter blast stranded some people in cars for days, shuttered the city’s airport and left some residents shivering without heat. More than 4,000 homes and businesses were still without power late Tuesday morning. Poloncarz said the snow removal effort's goal is to have at least one lane of traffic open on every street within two days.

(Read more Buffalo stories.)

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