Buffalo officials have already begun suggesting that Winter Storm Elliott may very well have been the most powerful winter storm to ever occur in the city, and those familiar with the Western New York town will tell you that that’s saying something.
This is a city that gets thwacked by incredible storms, year after year, thanks to the lake effect weather pocket it is nestled in. It isn’t all that rare for multiple feet of snow to fall in a single day in Buffalo, but Elliott’s rage was something different entirely, and now the National Guard has been dispatched in order to do wellness checks on Buffalonians trapped in their homes.
The National Guard went door to door in parts of Buffalo on Wednesday to check on people who lost power during the area’s deadliest winter storm in decades, and authorities faced the tragic possibility of finding more victims amid melting snow.Advertisement - story continues below
Already, more than 30 deaths have been reported in western New York from the blizzard that raged Friday and Saturday across much of the country, with Buffalo in its crosshairs.
This was no small operation, either.
Twenty-five Guard teams were making such rounds Wednesday, spokesperson Eric Durr said by phone. He said troops had made some wellness checks previously but went out with a specific list of questions, including whether residents had food, water, electricity or any special health or medication concerns.
“The idea is to get a sense of: What are the needs out there?” said Durr, who noted that troops were offering food and water to those needing it.
Buffalo is expected to get some reprieve later in the week, as the temperatures rise up into the 50’s as we usher in the new year.