At Least 3 Deaths in New York Blamed on Polar Vortex

A firefighter walks past an ice-encrusted home after an early morning house fire Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo: Jean Pieri / Associated Press
A firefighter walks past an ice-encrusted home after an early morning house fire Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo: Jean Pieri / Associated Press

CHICAGO — At least three deaths in western New York are being blamed on the winter storm that has dropped more than 20 inches (50 centimeters) of snow and inflicted subzero wind chills.

Authorities said Thursday that a homeless man found frozen in a suburban Buffalo bus shelter may have been a fourth storm victim but an autopsy was needed to confirm his cause of death.

Two Buffalo-area men died clearing snow and a man died in Livingston County when his vehicle hit a snowdrift and crashed early Thursday.

The victims’ names and other details haven’t been released.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says one of the men who died clearing snow was shoveling and the other was operating a snowblower.

Buffalo schools will be closed for a third day Friday.