A travel ban has been lifted in New York’s Erie County, days after a deadly snowstorm swept through the region, reducing visibility to zero at times.
The ban, which took effect Friday, expired at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told reporters Wednesday night that the roads are in good enough condition to lift the ban.
“It’s been 6 days,” Brown said. “Some people will be able to get groceries, get medications, go to medical appointments. And do those important things now that people are able to lift the travel ban.”
Brown said most of the city’s streets are passable, and he expected crews to build a pass in the center of each residential street by the end of the night.
Although the ban has been lifted, a travel advisory remains in effect for Erie County as the cleanup continues and a state of emergency remains in place across the county. Brown asked people to be cautious and avoid driving unless necessary.
More than 450 plows were on Buffalo roads for snow plowing and shoveling, and many traffic signals were still not working, he said.
According to the National Weather Service, the storm dumped over 20 inches. of snow in parts of New York — including about 52 inches at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
The powerful storm plunged much of the United States into. A deep freeze, creating life-threatening conditions as more than 1 million homes.
At least 76 people died in the storm, according to todaystrendnews News. Erie County accounted for 37 deaths, including 29 in Buffalo.
Weather-related deaths were also reported in Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont.
In Buffalo, officials said the number could rise.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia,said Wednesday night that police. Have cleared a backlog of calls related to welfare checks, stranded motorists and reports of dead bodies.
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Search and rescue teams were returning Thursday to check locations where bodies were reported but not confirmed — either. Because of the amount of snow or the ambiguity of the location, Gramaglia said.
“We believe there were some credible 911 calls that contained more information … low single digit numbers, so that’s why we’re going to focus our efforts to hit those areas,” he told reporters.
Several people have died because of delays in getting emergency services. Or cardiac events related to shoveling or avalanches. He said, among the dead, nine people died who did not have heat in their homes.
Poloncarz said in a tweet Wednesday night that 500 National Guard members conducted about 850 welfare. Checks on residents affected by the long-term power outage.
In Buffalo, where more than 20,000 customers were without power at one point during. The storm, only three were without power Wednesday night, according to Brown, the mayor.
On Wednesday, city offices, facilities and streets opened as temperatures soared into the 40s across parts of New York.
New York Gov. Cathy Hochul said Wednesday night that all major state highways in western New York, including. The Erie County portion of Interstate 190 and several state routes, would reopen by midnight.
“I am extremely grateful to all the highway maintenance workers, first responders and emergency services personnel. Who continue to work tirelessly to help their fellow New Yorkers,” Hochul said in a statement.
And that will help the accumulated snow melt, according to the National Weather Service.