NEW YORK (AFP) - The death toll rose to 13 on Friday from a rare pre-winter snowstorm in western New York state where rising temperatures and heavy weekend rain is now likely to cause flooding.
Blizzards dumped a year's supply of snow in just days south of Buffalo city, causing at least 30 buildings to collapse, imperiling mobile home parks and paralysing entire communities.
The death toll from "Winter Storm Knife" rose to 13, officials said. Two elderly people died during or after being evacuated from a nursing home, while a 50-year-old man was found dead in his vehicle.
Authorities have warned that many of the deaths were preventable, warning people to stay at home, observe travel bans and not shovel snow, particularly if they have a heart condition.
The National Weather Service warned "lake effect snow," created when frigid air moves over warm lake waters, remains a danger until noon but said only up to another two inches was expected Friday.
"If you must travel during the lake effect snow... expect severe winter driving conditions with very low visibility and deep snow cover on roads," it said.
The state of emergency has been so severe that the National Football League relocated Sunday's game between the local Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets from Buffalo to Detroit.
The rock band Interpol said they were stranded more than 50 hours on their tour bus by the storm and then stuck in Buffalo, forcing them to cancel concerts in Montreal, Toronto and Boston.