A storm that has dumped more than 63 inches (160 cms) of snow this week on Erie, Pennsylvania, is expected to slightly taper off on Wednesday after leaving behind drifts that buried cars, paralyzed the area and prompted an emergency declaration.
But the respite for Erie, a city of about 100,000 in northwest Pennsylvania on the shores of Lake Erie, is expected to be short-lived, with a fresh round of winter storms coming Thursday night predicted to bring as much as 10 inches more snow, forecasters said.
“This is a crippling snow event,” said Zach Sefcovic, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland.
The storm broke a 59-year-old record for a two-day snowfall in Pennsylvania, topping the 44 inches that fell in 1958. Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkempe issued a temporary disaster emergency declaration that mobilized resources to help the area.
Pictures of residents on social media showed drifts reaching beyond window-levels in houses and people clearing paths through chest-high accumulations.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf deployed 21 Pennsylvania National Guard troops along with some all-terrain military vehicles to the region on Tuesday to help residents dig out and transport emergency responders around the area.