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40 storm-related deaths confirmed following blizzard

On Thursday afternoon, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said there are 39 storm-related deaths confirmed in the county. Another death was reported in Niagara Co.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — As of Thursday, the death total from the blizzard last weekend stands at 40. 

At a press briefing on Thursday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz confirmed that the total rose to 39 for Erie County. 

He provided some additional information about those deaths. A total of 31 were in the City of Buffalo, seven in the suburbs, and one is still unknown. The deaths in the suburbs were across Williamsville, Amherst, Cheektowaga, and Depew. Of the confirmed deaths, 20 are Black, 18 are white, and one is Hispanic.

Poloncarz was also able to explain some of the situations that the victims were in. Three of the deaths were from EMS delays, and 17 of them were people found outside in the cold. Four of the victims were found in their cars. Four were cardiac-related deaths from people clearing snow, and 11 people were found in their homes.

On Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz reported that the county would only report storm-related deaths confirmed by the Medical Examiner's Office, meaning their total might be different from what the City of Buffalo says. 

An additional death was reported in Niagara County. A 27-year-old man died from carbon monoxide poisoning.  

Our sister station, WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina confirmed that one of the victims in the storm was Anndel Taylor, a nursing assistant from Charlotte who was working in Buffalo.

Her family told WCNC Charlotte Taylor was on her way home from work Friday when she got stuck in the storm. Her family said she made several calls for help, but hours went by, and nothing came of it. She was found in her car the next day, but it was too late. She died just a month shy of her 23rd birthday. 

2 On Your Side's Danielle Church will have the story of Abdul Sharifu, who died on his way to get groceries. His wife Gloris is expecting their first child next week.

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