Unheeded Lessons From the Buffalo Blizzard
Gov. Kathy Hochul is determined to make New York even less prepared to save lives when the next weather disaster strikes.
The Buffalo blizzard of 2022 has notched itself in the record books as one of the most devastating winter storms in American history. The event reminds us of our tenuous well-being amid meteorological cruelty and of the instrumental role energy and technology play in securing human life through perilous conditions.
Friday, Dec. 23, began for Buffalonians as a relatively warm day, with the mercury rising to 40 degrees Fahrenheit before noon, 5 degrees above the daily average. Despite vociferous warnings from the National Weather Service and local officials of impending whiteout conditions, the morning temperatures lured many people — being hardy Buffalonians — from home. By early afternoon, temperatures and barometric pressure readings had plummeted, however, and heavy snow soon enveloped the city while wind gusts approached 80 miles per hour. Those gusts swirled falling and fallen snow into a blinding mess. Friday, Dec. 23’s 22 inches ranked it fourth on Buffalo’s list for snowfall in a total day, but the city’s concerns were only then beginning to mount.
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Jordan McGillis is a Paulson Policy Analyst at the Manhattan Institute
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