Erie County officials reported this morning that the death toll from the weekend winter storm rose to 25, as they remain vigilant for driving on area roads.
Mark Poloncarz, Erie County executive, released the most current death toll, which as of last Sunday stood at 12 people.
“ The coroner’s office has confirmed to date 25 deaths related to the storm,” he said.
One of those deaths was from a person poisoned by carbon monoxide inside their home.
He explained that the rest of the deaths were people who were trapped inside cars or were even found on the streets, in addition to people who could not be attended by the emergency services due to weather conditions.
Due to the heavy snowfall, for the first time in history, Buffalo firefighters were unable to respond to calls for help.
Poloncarz indicated that the ban on driving in the county remains, so motorists who are caught will be fined.
“Law enforcement will resume enforcement of infractions for violating the ban. Cars continue to get stuck and block emergency services and ambulances, ”he warned.
He added that the storm is expected to continue tomorrow and bring an additional 8 to 12 inches of snow.
The Erie County executive assured that relief forces are still helping people who are stranded.
“We are actively coordinating food efforts for shelters, emergency services responding to people who have been stuck at gas stations or stores and those who are running out of food who are stuck inside their homes,” said.
The winter storm that hit northwestern New York county over the weekend is one of the worst in recent years, leaving roads closed and thousands of homes without power.