Four die in snow storm
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – Four people died during a storm that dumped more than four feet of snow around Buffalo.
It forced motorists in 150 vehicles, including a women’s basketball team, to ride it out on a day when temperatures dropped to freezing or below in all 50 states.
One person was killed in an automobile accident and three others had heart attacks, including two believed to be shovelling snow at the time, Erie County officials said.
The snowstorm stranded cars, trucks and buses on a four-mile section near Buffalo. By late last night, many – but not all – had been freed.
Some motorists had had been trapped for nearly 24 hours. Officials said freeing the vehicles was delayed after two tractor-trailers jack-knifed as they were being moved.
“It seemed like a nightmare. It just didn’t feel like it was going to end,” Bryce Foreback, 23, of Shicora, Pennsylvania told The Associated Press by cell phone 20 hours into his wait for help. “I haven’t slept in like 30 hours and I’m just waiting to get out of here.”
Members of the Niagara University women’s basketball team were napping on and off 17 hours into their wait. Some got so thirsty they drank melted snow, said Coach Kendra Faustin, who was traveling with her one-year-old.
Team spokeswoman Chelsea Andorka said the bus, with about 25 players and coaches aboard, was headed back from a loss in Pittsburgh when it came to a halt at 2 a.m. yesterday.
“We were told the National Guard was coming by but haven’t seen any signs of life,” Andorka said. “The first time they came they told us to be prepared to stay for a while. One tow truck passed six or seven hours ago.”
In a region accustomed to highway-choking snowstorms, this one is being called one of the worst in memory. Snow blown by strong winds forced the closing of a 132-mile stretch of the Thruway, the main highway across New York state.
Meteorologists say temperatures in all 50 states fell to freezing or below yesterday. They say the low temperatures were more reminiscent of January than November.