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Last updated on November 19, 2014, at 6:38 a.m. ET

Posted on November 19, 2014, at 6:38 a.m. ET

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Flooding Is Next Challenge In New York After Massive Snowstorm Left 13 Dead

Buffalo and the surrounding region got pounded by lake-effect snow that led to the deaths of at least 13 people and stranded scores of others on roadways. The next challenge will be severe flooding.

Snow piles up on Route 5 in Lackawanna, near Buffalo.
Aaron Lynett / Reuters

Snow piles up on Route 5 in Lackawanna, near Buffalo.

What we know so far:

  • At least 13 people have died in the massive snowfall.
  • The two rounds of lake effect snow dumped nearly eight feet on the Buffalo region.
  • The snowfall is mostly over as of Friday, but temperatures will increase. The next challenge will be flooding over the weekend and into Tuesday.
  • The Bills-Jets game scheduled for Sunday in Buffalo was moved to Detroit on Monday evening at 7 p.m.
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A flood warning remained in effect for Western New York through Monday afternoon as snow melted and ice dammed up waterways.

Residents near creeks were warned to move belongings out of their basements as waters threatened to rise. Residents of more urban areas were also warned that storm drains clogged with snow could push several feet of water onto streets.

The National Weather Service also forecasted strong winds on Monday that could bring down power lines.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to be prepared as New York remained in a limited state of emergency.

If you live in or near a flood-prone area, be prepared to evacuate. Have a bag packed, assemble important papers & secure your home.

Andrew Cuomo@NYGovCuomoFollow

If you live in or near a flood-prone area, be prepared to evacuate. Have a bag packed, assemble important papers & secure your home.

2:29 PM - 23 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Tickets for the rescheduled Bills vs. Jets game, now being played in Detroit due to the Buffalo stadium still being buried in snow, will be free.

Tickets for #Bills vs #Jets at Ford Field Monday night will be free! #BillsMafia

john_kucko@john_kuckoFollow

Tickets for #Bills vs #Jets at Ford Field Monday night will be free! #BillsMafia

5:26 PM - 21 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Tickets for the original, cancelled game will be honored, and new tickets will be free. From the Detroit Free Press:

Free ticket offers are being distributed via email to Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions season-ticket members today. The method of delivery will be Flash Seats, the Lions' digital-entry ticketing system.

Flash Seats allows fans to enter with a digital ID such as a credit card or driver's license as well as with the Flash Seats mobile app. More information regarding Flash Seats is available at detroitlions.com.

The public will have an opportunity for free tickets beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at detroitlions.com.

Tickets also will be available at the Ford Field box office between 10 a.m.-3 p.m Sunday and beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.

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The Buffalo Bills used snowmobiles to get players from their homes to Ralph Wilson Stadium, where they'll catch a bus to the airport. On Thursday, the NFL announced Sunday's Jets–Bills game will take place in Detroit on Monday.

Earlier Friday, the Bills posted a number for fans who had tickets to Sunday's game to get information about refunds. Unfortunately, the number posted was posted with one incorrect digit, and redirected to a domestic violence crisis center.

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The death toll has reached 13

According to CNN:

At least 13 people have died in connection with the snowfall, (Erie County, New York, Executive Mark Poloncarz) said Friday. The latest to be counted was a 50-year-old man whose body was found in a vehicle in Cheektowaga, New York, he said.

Authorities later identified the man as David M. Deneke.

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The next hazardous condition for the Buffalo region will be flooding, the National Weather Service said

There will be light snow through Friday, the NWS said.

But come Saturday afternoon, temperatures will be above freezing – and will stay that way for days, bringing on a flood warning. Sunday will be around 50 degrees, and Monday around 60, the NWS said, and there will be rain until monday.

That will lead to "significant" and "widespread" flooding, the NWS said.

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Here are the area totals for that second round of snow:

Latest snow totals for #LakeEffect round 2. Won't have weekly #'s until we receive and go thru official obs. #BUFwx

NWS BUFFALO@NWSBUFFALOFollow

Latest snow totals for #LakeEffect round 2. Won't have weekly #'s until we receive and go thru official obs. #BUFwx

10:41 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets was moved to Ford Field Detroit on Monday at 7 p.m.

Night falls on an eerily still Ralph Wilson Stadium. #BuffaloSnow MORE PHOTOS: http://t.co/F4UmXaYVGR

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

Night falls on an eerily still Ralph Wilson Stadium. #BuffaloSnow

MORE PHOTOS: http://t.co/F4UmXaYVGR

8:48 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The New York Times reported:

While Ford Field could have been used on Sunday, the league chose to move the game to 7 p.m. Monday so that the Bills, who have been unable to practice this week, could have more time to prepare.

"The Lions' practice facility will be available to the Bills on Friday, and moving the game to Monday night will enable the Bills to practice on Friday and Saturday and have their walk-through on Sunday," the N.F.L. spokesman Michael Signora said.

The league said that details on tickets and other game-day information would be announced later.

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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Thursday that more than 400 vehicles have been towed.

The travel ban in South Buffalo is even stricter and will be enforced, Brown said. South Buffalo is closed to pedestrians and vehicles from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

He also said that emergency services can deliver vital medications to stranded residents.

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Residents of upstate New York are bracing for more extreme weather. Higher temperatures and rain are predicted this weekend, which may cause flooding and create heavier loads on snow-covered roofs that will absorb the rain, according to officials.

Dan Nevearth from @ErieCountyESU speaks about the next operations phase: controlling the flood. #WinterStormKnife

Erie County, NY@ErieCountyNYFollow

Dan Nevearth from @ErieCountyESU speaks about the next operations phase: controlling the flood. #WinterStormKnife

6:01 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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More than a dozen buildings and garages collapsed under the weight of the snow Thursday, Bellevue Fire Department Lt. Timothy Roma said.

AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson

A metal warehouse operated by a Christmas decorations company also collapsed because of the heavy snowfall. Damage was estimated in the millions, Roma said.

About 180 residents of a nursing home in Cheektowaga were evacuated.

AP Photo/Gary Wiepert

Cuomo visited the Garden Gate Health Care Facility early Thursday with state fire officials to inspect the building and found some beams weakened under the heavy load of snow.

At a strip mall adjacent to the nursing home, the weight of the snow caused a roof to buckle and partially collapse. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters from Cheektowaga and Depew assist an elderly patient from from Garden Gate Health Care Facility to the Appletree Mall in Cheektowaga, N.Y.
AP Photo/Gary Wiepert

Firefighters from Cheektowaga and Depew assist an elderly patient from from Garden Gate Health Care Facility to the Appletree Mall in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

More than 50 people were evacuated from mobile home parks in Cheektowaga and West Seneca because roofs were buckling.

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On Tuesday, Kevin Cullen and Christian Edie were filmed surfing Lake Erie outside of Buffalo. Cullen said it was 26 degrees with winds whipping up to 35 mph when the couple jumped into the water.

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An abandoned Doritos truck in South Buffalo was seen being robbed, according to several people who documented the incident on Twitter and Facebook.

I just saw several men stealing chips from inside this abandoned Doritos truck. #BuffaloSnow #nywx

Jeremy Cohn@JeremyGlobalTVFollow

I just saw several men stealing chips from inside this abandoned Doritos truck. #BuffaloSnow #nywx

6:41 PM - 18 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

"Just some people casually robbing the doritos truck on seneca street. How typical," Angela Oestereich wrote on Facebook along with several images of people stealing chips:

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The storm's death toll rose to 10 on Thursday, the Buffalo News reported, after two people died of exposure.

In the hardest hit areas, roofs had collapsed and officials were evaluating the load of snow on a senior home.

The Buffalo Sabres announced they would postpone their game and said their thoughts were with area residents.

NEWS: Friday's #Sabres game vs. the @NYRangers has been postponed. A makeup date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed. #BuffaloSnow

Buffalo Sabres@BuffaloSabresFollow

NEWS: Friday's #Sabres game vs. the @NYRangers has been postponed. A makeup date will be announced as soon as it is confirmed. #BuffaloSnow

12:11 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Buffalo Bills said their game would be moved, and an announcement of a new location was expected Thursday night.

DETAILS: @NFL decides #NYJvsBUF won't be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium http://t.co/vyOopWqFHX

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

DETAILS: @NFL decides #NYJvsBUF won't be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium http://t.co/vyOopWqFHX

2:05 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Why can't the game be at the Ralph? ICYMI, these photos are your answer http://t.co/F4UmXaYVGR

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

Why can't the game be at the Ralph? ICYMI, these photos are your answer http://t.co/F4UmXaYVGR

2:28 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

The latest report from the National Weather Service says snow is expected to continue falling into Friday before weakening on Friday night.

But the agency is also warning of flooding once the snow starts to melt this weekend:

The Weather Service says warmer bands of air are expected to move into the Eastern U.S. over the weekend, with temperatures rising well above freezing. All that warm air "has the potential for a very rapid melt of the very heavy snowfall."

"Rapid melt of this snow could cause flooding of the streams and creeks in the metro Buffalo area and areas to the south where the greatest snow has fallen," the Weather Service warned.

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This time-lapse video from Joseph DeBenedictis and Jason Holler shows the "wall of snow" arriving in Buffalo on Tuesday.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

And here's a clip from Joseph taken today:

It's happening again! The #Buffalo wall of snow is back. #Snow

Joseph DeBenedictis@Joseph_VideoFollow

It's happening again! The #Buffalo wall of snow is back. #Snow

12:16 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Here's the scene at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Bills are scheduled to play the Jets this Sunday.

Kevin Hoffman/Usa Today Sports

Workers are beginning the massive effort to clear several feet of snow that has enveloped the stadium.

Kevin Hoffman/Usa Today Sports

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this morning that holding the game will be impractical given people are being urged to stay off the roads. But the ultimate decision rests with the NFL.

Kevin Hoffman/Usa Today Sports

The Bills cancelled training for a second consecutive day on Thursday, ESPN reported.

Kevin Hoffman/Usa Today Sports

This morning Bills' guard Kraig Urbik said he was one of many Buffalo residents still waiting for their street to be plowed.

Any chance my street gets plowed today? Or are we stuck here till Saturday?

Kraig Urbik@kraigurbikFollow

Any chance my street gets plowed today? Or are we stuck here till Saturday?

9:42 AM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Another foot of snow hit the Buffalo area on Thursday as the lake effect continued to wreak havoc on Upstate New York. Before the day is out, forecasters fear another three feet of snow.

This photo provided by Laurie Cullen, a worker, sends a message about the snow on the marquis of the Aurora Theater in East Aurora, New York, on Thursday, Nov. 20.
AP Photo/Courtesy of Laurie Cullen

This photo provided by Laurie Cullen, a worker, sends a message about the snow on the marquis of the Aurora Theater in East Aurora, New York, on Thursday, Nov. 20.

The more things change, the more they don't. Here's the noon #lakeeffect picture. #Buffalo #BloWinter1415

TJ Pignataro@TJPignataroFollow

The more things change, the more they don't. Here's the noon #lakeeffect picture. #Buffalo #BloWinter1415

12:18 PM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a news conference in Buffalo that the snow-clearing effort is "the largest of its kind ever."

NBC

"Help got here yesterday, more help is on the way," Cuomo said, highlighting the "tremendous progress" local authorities have made in clearing roads.

"We're in a much better position than we were yesterday, but we're still not home," he said. "There are still more chapters in this story until it's done."

The governor noted that no one has been killed or seriously hurt on the roads as a result of the storm, describing this as a "tribute" to the "extraordinary work" done by police.

But Cuomo also expressed sympathy with people who had been stuck in their cars for many hours on thruways before being rescued. Speaking of husbands and wives stranded in vehicles for 12 hours, the governor said: "I don't care how good your marriage is. That's a long time to be in a car with your spouse."

He implored people to stay off the roads in the coming days. "It is important motorists heed that there is a driving ban for a reason," he said. "Stay in your home, pretty, pretty please."

Cuomo also expressed some doubt that a planned NFL match between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets would go ahead in Buffalo this Sunday. "My two cents is it's impractical to have the game because it jeopardizes public safety," he said.

PHOTO: The inside of Ralph Wilson stadium under a thick blanket of snow and blowing drifts.

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

PHOTO: The inside of Ralph Wilson stadium under a thick blanket of snow and blowing drifts.

11:29 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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County officials have just announced that an eighth person has died in the Buffalo snowstorms.

County officials in Buffalo have announced an eighth person has died in the snowstorms in the north-east of the U.S.

Sky News Newsdesk@SkyNewsBreakFollow

County officials in Buffalo have announced an eighth person has died in the snowstorms in the north-east of the U.S.

11:52 AM - 20 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Cuomo visited stranded truckers on interstate I-190 to make sure they were OK, while surveying the area in West Seneca near Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday.

Pool / Reuters

Here Cuomo checks on a trucker stuck in the show on the thruway between Walden Avenue and Ridge Road in Cheektowaga, New York:

AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Sharon Cantillon

State officials say the thruway will stay closed in the Buffalo area for the duration of the storm, which is expected to bring several more feet of snow through Thursday.

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A man climbs on his roof to clear snow in the town of Cheektowaga near Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday.

Lindsay Dedario / Reuters

A snow-topped truck is seen in the town of Cheektowaga:

Lindsay Dedario / Reuters

Homes in the town of West Seneca near Buffalo, New York, are covered in snow:

These houses in West Seneca look more like igloos #snowvember

Derek Gee@DerekGeePhotoFollow

These houses in West Seneca look more like igloos #snowvember

12:44 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In West Seneca, a deer is seen struggling to jump through the snow:

Ralph Wilson Stadium, an outdoor football stadium, in Orchard Park, New York, is covered in snow.

Ralph Wilson Stadium is under there somewhere...

Derek Gee@DerekGeePhotoFollow

Ralph Wilson Stadium is under there somewhere...

1:06 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Automobiles parked at a car dealership in Orchard Park are submerged in snow:

Cars in the lot at a dealership in Orchard Park #snowvember

Derek Gee@DerekGeePhotoFollow

Cars in the lot at a dealership in Orchard Park #snowvember

12:35 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A resident of the town Depew, New York, is seen shoveling a path from their home.

Digging out is a tall task in Depew #snowvember

Derek Gee@DerekGeePhotoFollow

Digging out is a tall task in Depew #snowvember

11:11 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

An abandoned car marked by orange cones is pictured buried under snow in Buffalo:

Reuters/Lindsay DeDario

Steve Corbett opens his window under snow drifts and greets his neighbor's dog Wednesday on Central Avenue, in Lancaster, New York.

AP photo/Gary Wiepert
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There are reports that a seventh person has died in the storm.

Poloncarz says there has been a 7th death associated with this storm.

WGRZ@WGRZFollow

Poloncarz says there has been a 7th death associated with this storm.

5:25 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed that a sixth person has died in Alden, NBC affiliate WGRZ reported.

The sixth death was confirmed during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. Local officials also said that the National Guard has been deployed to the area, and that the State Department of Transportation is sending 160 plows and 350 workers to help keep Buffalo safe.

Deputy County Executive Rich Tobe said that Buffalo could see up to 100 inches of snow by Sunday, which is the amount of snowfall the city typically sees throughout the entire winter.

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People who ignore travel bans will be ticketed, Cuomo said.

Cuomo says anyone ignoring travel bans may be ticketed @WKBW

Kendra Eaglin@KendraEaglin7Follow

Cuomo says anyone ignoring travel bans may be ticketed @WKBW

2:27 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The New York State Department of Transportation are keeping the thruway, Route 400, and 219 closed through Thursday.

Travel bans are still in effect. Motorists are asked to stay off the roadways for their safety & allow snow removal operations to continue.

NYSDOT Western NY@NYSDOTBuffaloFollow

Travel bans are still in effect. Motorists are asked to stay off the roadways for their safety & allow snow removal operations to continue.

2:12 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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There was more snow in one day than was expected all season, officials said.

We have further complications ahead with more snow to come. Stay home - going out is dangerous. The roads are closed.

Andrew Cuomo@NYGovCuomoFollow

We have further complications ahead with more snow to come. Stay home - going out is dangerous. The roads are closed.

2:25 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

"This is a historic event." —New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

"Mother Nature is showing us who's boss again," Cuomo said at a press briefing in Cheektowaga.

He said it was going to be a multi-day effort to combat the massive snowstorm in Western New York.

Hundreds of equipment from across the state and from neighboring states have been brought in.

Hundreds of National Guard troops have been deployed to assist local and county officials and more are being brought in, Cuomo said.

Officials warned that more severe snow is expected tonight.

"This is and extraordinarily difficult situation," Cuomo said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."

The governor warned that there could be potential flooding after the warming begins.

He asked citizens for their cooperation in the efforts. "When we say, stay at home, really stay at home," Cuomo said.

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Here's how much it snowed in Alden. That's a mailbox.

WGRZ@WGRZFollow

Here's how much it snowed in Alden. That's a mailbox.

1:34 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

The Buffalo Bills are offering $10 an hour and game tickets to people who help clear snow from the stadium.

Just how much snow needs to be removed? 220,000 TONS, enough to fill the @ADPROSports Complex 8 times over.

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

Just how much snow needs to be removed?

220,000 TONS, enough to fill the @ADPROSports Complex 8 times over.

12:56 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#Bills VP Andy Major: "We are sparing no expense to clear the stadium and make it safe"

Buffalo Bills@buffalobillsFollow

#Bills VP Andy Major: "We are sparing no expense to clear the stadium and make it safe"

12:57 PM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Residents walking to gas station with gas containers on sleds

Lou Raguse@LouRaguse4Follow

Residents walking to gas station with gas containers on sleds

11:41 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Christine Bloom works to clear snow off her vehicle to try and make it to work in Hamburg, New York.

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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the city has "a long way to go."

"People will probably not be seeing plowing because there's no place to plow the snow right now," Brown told WBEN, adding that dump trucks have to "pick it up and haul it out."

The new snow on Wednesday is "definitely hampering efforts," he said.

In terms of the National Guard, the "major thing we need from the National Guard is high lifts so we can continue to haul the snow." Buffalo has one and needs more, he said.

None of the five deaths in the region occurred in Buffalo, he added.

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Drone footage from the storm shot by a resident of West Seneca, New York:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
Posted at

Preparations for Sunday's Buffalo Bills game at Ralph Wilson Park are well underway. The NFL will decide if the game should go on:

Buffalo update 2: Forecast for between 1.5 to 3 feet more snow Thurs. Crews have already dug out 220,000 TONS of snow on stadium property.

Peter King@SI_PeterKingFollow

Buffalo update 2:

Forecast for between 1.5 to 3 feet more snow Thurs. Crews have already dug out 220,000 TONS of snow on stadium property.

8:23 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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This Buffalo resident's three cars have vanished:

instagram.com
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Some drivers are still waiting to be dug out of snowed-in highways:

Photo from Caitlin Battaglia who is stuck on the Thruway near Lackawanna tolls.

WGRZ@WGRZFollow

Photo from Caitlin Battaglia who is stuck on the Thruway near Lackawanna tolls.

7:42 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Not sure what happened here, but a listener tweeted us this of a house in Cheektowaga:

WBEN NewsRadio 930AM@NewsRadio930Follow

Not sure what happened here, but a listener tweeted us this of a house in Cheektowaga:

6:51 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

The snow is so deep it's overwhelming cars and almost covering houses:

Okay now our cars are no longer visible, and the snow is almost covering all of the houses. @WGRZ #WGRZsnow

Rachael Burow@RachaelKandyFurFollow

Okay now our cars are no longer visible, and the snow is almost covering all of the houses. @WGRZ #WGRZsnow

7:00 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My backyard this AM in West Seneca. No more garage and no more gazebo for awhile! @WGRZ #WGRZsnow

Rachael Burow@RachaelKandyFurFollow

My backyard this AM in West Seneca. No more garage and no more gazebo for awhile! @WGRZ #WGRZsnow

7:08 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

#BUFFALO MAYOR: "There will probably be roofs that are going to give way due to all the packed snow." Exercise caution clearing snow

Erica Brecher@EricaBrecherFollow

#BUFFALO MAYOR: "There will probably be roofs that are going to give way due to all the packed snow." Exercise caution clearing snow

7:06 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Some residents said the plows aren't working fast enough:

@news4buffalo where is the supposed "clean up" of south buffalo? Most streets have 8 or more feet of snow

Dean Bruscia@deanbruscia_Follow

@news4buffalo where is the supposed "clean up" of south buffalo? Most streets have 8 or more feet of snow

6:11 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Erie County officials are asking motorists to stay off the road and are tracking the progress of plows around the region:

A real time look at where county plows are very hard at work. Please adhere to diving bands and stay off the roads.

Erie County DPW@ErieCountyDPWFollow

A real time look at where county plows are very hard at work. Please adhere to diving bands and stay off the roads.

6:29 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

The Niagara University's women's basketball team was rescued after being trapped for 24 hours.

We are safe at toll plaza. Making our way to police station and then to campus.

Kendra Faustin@kfaustinFollow

We are safe at toll plaza. Making our way to police station and then to campus.

4:25 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Officials said a fifth victim of the snow, a 46-year-old man, was found dead. His car was in 12 to 15 feet of snow.

BREAKING: A 5th person has died in the winter storm. More here: http://t.co/scHpqxWXRU

WIVB News 4 Buffalo@news4buffaloFollow

BREAKING: A 5th person has died in the winter storm. More here: http://t.co/scHpqxWXRU

6:23 AM - 19 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

UPDATE: Authorities later identified the man as Donald J. Abate.