President Joe Biden is sending federal aid to Western New York to help state and local authorities clean up the massive storm that dumped up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) of snow across Western and Northern New York. the White House announced Monday.
The emergency declaration authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief in 11 counties affected by the lake-effect blizzard Friday and Saturday.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul thanked Biden for acceding to her request for emergency relief, adding in a press release: “My team and I will continue to work around the clock to keep everyone safe, help communities to dig in and secure every last dollar to help rebuild and recover from this historic, record-breaking winter storm.”
The National Weather Service recorded 77 inches (196 centimeters) Saturday at Orchard Park, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and 72 inches (183 centimeters) at Natural Bridge, a hamlet near Watertown on the eastern end of Lake Ontario.
The storm forced the Bills to move Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns to Detroit. The Bills won 31-23.
More snow fell overnight Sunday in some areas, but stopped by dawn Monday. “We are finally dry,” said weather service meteorologist Liz Jurkowski.
The driving ban was lifted Monday morning in most storm-affected areas, but schools remained closed in Buffalo and nearby cities.
The blizzard was at least the worst in New York state since November 2014, when communities south of Buffalo saw 7 feet (2.13 meters) of snow over the course of three days.
Jurkowski said snowfall totals for this storm were still being tabulated as of Monday.