Upstate New York braces for more snow; NFL moves football game

'We need all hands on deck to dig out from this epic snowfall, and the federal government must do all it can'

As the Buffalo, N.Y., area braced for a second wintry wallop, officials warned the public to be alert for roofs that could collapse from the weight of snow, and the NFL announced that Sunday’s football game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets would be delayed a day and played elsewhere.

Already the unseasonable snow has all but buried some houses and buildings in upstate New York.

On Thursday, the roof of a big-box wholesale store collapsed in a Buffalo suburb, but all occupants escaped. When a nursing home roof showed signs of collapse, 150 people were evacuated, said Scott Zylka, a spokesman for the Erie County Sheriff’s Department. No injuries were reported in either case, he said.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had notified senior White House officials that the state might need help and a federal disaster declaration.

“We need all hands on deck to dig out from this epic snowfall, and the federal government must do all it can — ASAP,” he said in a statement

The latest storm, which was dropping up to 5 inches an hour in the Buffalo area, could bring as much as 3 additional feet of lake-effect snow, on top of the more than 6 feet that fell earlier in the week.

A travel ban remained in place, and hundreds of vehicles were still stranded, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“We are in a much better situation than we were yesterday, but we're still not home,” the governor said.

The latest forecast comes after officials blamed the storm for 10 deaths, most caused by heart attacks. Two people died of exposure after becoming disoriented in the snow, officials said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced on Twitter that the Bills-Jets game, scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo, would be rescheduled and relocated because of the weather. Later, the NFL said the game would be played in Detroit on Monday.

Between 18 and 36 inches of snow was expected Thursday in the hardest-hit areas of Buffalo, where there was already as much as 75 inches on the ground, National Weather Service meteorologist David Thomas said.

As if that misery weren’t enough, temperatures were expected to dip into the teens overnight with a wind chill that would make it feel even colder, he said.

The first round of lake-effect snow hit the area Monday, unevenly blanketing areas. At one point Wednesday, there were 4 inches at the Buffalo airport but more than 4 feet of snow four miles to the south, Thomas said.

“There is a very sharp cutoff between the haves and the have-nots,” he said.

javier.panzar@latimes.com

Twitter: @jpanzar 

 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

6:15 p.m.: The story was updated with the new date and location of the Bills-Jets football game. 

4:21 p.m.: The story was updated throughout with new details and information.

2:02 p.m.: The story was updated with information about roof collapse warnings.

This story was originally published at 8:49 a.m.

 

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