U.S. weather forecasters say a fierce winter storm in upstate New York is about done, but that flooding problems could be next as temperatures rise to nearly 60 degrees in the coming days.
Many residents have been trapped in their homes, running out of medicine or without electric power in and around the city of Buffalo, in western New York state. Weather watchers there say an epic winter storm has dumped about two-and-a-half meters of snow, or about an entire season’s worth.
Officials blame the Arctic blast for at least eight deaths, mostly from exposure and heart attacks in several people who were outside shoveling snow. Some roofs creaked and caved in under the enormous weight of the snow.
With roads still not passable and driving bans in effect late Thursday, some grocery stores reported running low on staples like bread and milk. Along a stretch of the New York State Thruway – the state’s main highway – more than 300 truckers were idle, waiting for the road to reopen.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo begged drivers to stay off the road and urged the National Football League to cancel a game set for Sunday just outside Buffalo, saying holding the game would jeopardize public safety.
Late Thursday, the NFL announced the game would be moved to the domed stadium in Detroit, more than 248 miles away, and played Monday night as the home team Lions are not at home this weekend.