Governor Kathy Hochul today provided an update to the ongoing response to the historic winter storm which brought blizzard conditions over the course of the weekend to many parts of Western New York, the Finger Lakes and the North Country regions.
JUST IN: Death toll now at 25 in Erie County, NY following winter stormpic.twitter.com/BzsC2aTFaC
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 26, 2022
On Thursday, ahead of the event, Governor Hochul declared a statewide State of Emergency and deployed the New York National Guard on Friday evening to assist with storm response and search and rescue missions. The Governor surged additional assets and personnel from numerous state agencies involved in the emergency response on Christmas Eve, and overnight Saturday into Sunday, the State Police, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation and the National Guard teamed up with local public safety officials and utility crews to form strike teams focused on life and safety checks in the City of Buffalo. On Christmas, those teams spent the day supporting power restoration efforts with heavy snow removal equipment.
As snow will continue to persist in Western New York and the North Country through Monday with gusts of 30 to 40 miles per hour, Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to continue adhering to local travel bans and limiting time outdoors.
“We continue to work around the clock with local leaders to respond to this historic storm and are in contact with the White House to secure critical federal assistance to help our communities recover,” Governor Hochul said. “I encourage everyone to continue to look after one another, stay off the roads and take precautions to stay safe in your home.”
The North County, Finger Lakes and Central New York regions all experienced peak wind gusts of more than 60 miles per hour during the event. In Western New York, peak wind gusts reached 79 miles per hour near the Buffalo Skyway. Areas off Lake Erie in Western New York may see another one and a half feet of snow and areas off Lake Ontario in the North Country may see another 3 feet of snow by Tuesday afternoon.
Lake Effect Snow Warnings and Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for counties across the Western New York and North Country regions. For a complete list of weather watches, warnings, and advisories across New York, visit the National Weather Service website.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Stay home and adhere to local travel bans that are in place. This is for your own safety, and to facilitate operations of utility crews, plow trucks and emergency responders. Our State agency teams have been working hand in glove with each other and our local partners to help New Yorkers get through this historic storm.”
Office of the Governor