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Hochul activates NY National Guard amid ‘epic snow event’
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) activated the National Guard to assist with the state and local response to an “epic snow event” that dumped more than five feet of snow on some areas near Buffalo.
Hochul told the Buffalo-based NBC affiliate WGRZ on Saturday that she has deployed more than 70 National Guardsmen to help remove snow to the areas south of Buffalo, which have seen the largest amounts of accumulation.
She said responders are planning to clear the main roads first to allow emergency vehicles to get to people and then help with the secondary neighborhoods.
Hochul emphasized that more snow is coming and there is a “temporary lull.” Responders are looking to take the brief reprieve from the extreme weather to begin clearing roads in the meantime.
The newly elected governor recently declared a state of emergency for 11 counties ahead of the storm. Flights and Amtrak trains leaving from Buffalo were canceled, and major highways were shut down.
Mark Poloncarz, the Erie County executive, announced on Friday that two people had died from cardiac events after they attempted to shovel and snowblow.
As much as five inches of snow fell per hour in certain areas, and the National Weather Service has warned that more snow will fall at rates of more than three inches per hour this weekend.
The snow will also be accompanied by lightning and gusty winds.
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