Near whiteout conditions in Buffalo force travel ban, NFL playoff game postponement

ByEyewitness News WABC logo

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A travel ban remains in effect for Erie County, as near whiteout conditions pound Buffalo and western New York this weekend.

Severe lake effect snow is impacting the region, which prompted New York Governor Kathy Hochul to announce the Buffalo Bills-Pittsburgh Steelers NFL playoff game to be rescheduled from Sunday to Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Hochul took to X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday and noted that the decision was made after speaking with emergency response teams, Bills leadership and the NFL.

Residents of the county that includes Buffalo were told to stay off the roads starting at 9 p.m. Saturday, with the forecast calling for 1 to 2 feet or more of snow and winds gusting as high as 65 mph.

"It will not be safe to be out on the roads tonight," Hochul said Saturday, adding that the travel ban will allow crews to try stay on top of snow removal.

Hochul said the "bullseye" of the storm is expected to hit Orchard Park, where the Bills was scheduled to play Sunday.

A state of emergency was issued Friday by the governor ahead of the potentially life-threatening conditions in the region.

The intense lake-effect snow during this storm is expected to amount to 1-3 feet.

RELATED: Winter storm to bring more rain, flooding, and then a freeze to NYC, Tri-State

The same winter storm dumped heavy snow across the Plains and Midwest, ushering in some of the coldest air of the season.

The cold was the biggest concern in the Dakotas. It was 11 degrees below zero F (minus 24 C) in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Friday morning, and forecasters warned the weekend would get even worse. It could reach 20 below F (minus 29 C) by early Sunday.

Near-record cold in Kansas City made for a frigid NFL playoff game Saturday night between the Chiefs and Miami. The game time temperature was 7 below zero with a wind chill of 27 below.

The University of Kansas Health System set up a clinic and several first aid stations at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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