How Many People Died in Buffalo Blizzard?

February 12, 2024

The number of people who died in the blizzard that buried Buffalo last month grew to 37 after Erie County officials released their final list Wednesday. Most of the victims were found dead outside their homes, trapped in their cars or stuck in snowbanks, with some dying from a medical crisis because emergency crews couldn't reach them fast enough. Others were killed by the cold while shoveling or suffered cardiac arrest, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

The medical examiner has confirmed three additional deaths, but authorities are still waiting for toxicology results, said the sheriff's office. The sheriff also warned the death toll could rise.

Some people died because they didn't listen to the sheriff's warnings to stay home, Poloncarz told reporters. He also acknowledged that the county's travel ban was issued too late, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, when many people were already on their way to work.

In the city, residents have been demanding accountability from their mayor and county officials over how prepared the region was for the storm. The chaos during and after the blizzard prompted criticism that Buffalo has no emergency management manager and is not fully participating in county planning for major weather events, even though it's the second-largest city in New York state and is home to two professional sports teams.

FOX News winter storm expert Tom Niziol says every catastrophe is a result of multiple factors coming together at the wrong time. For example, the blizzard that hit western New York was a result of a combination of factors including a strong jet stream and a low pressure system over the Atlantic.

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