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Snowstorms and record low temperatures whacked much of the country this week — and there’s more havoc coming Wednesday.

About 50% of the country had snow on the ground Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Buffalo, New York, one of the hardest-hit areas, is buried under 6 feet of snow — and counting.

The city’s Mercy Hospital is short-staffed because many employees couldn’t travel.

“Many of our nurses couldn’t get in to work today,” nurse Shanel Orsi told The Buffalo News. She herself hitched a ride from a snowmobiler to get to work.

Thankfully, there were relatively few power outages in and near Buffalo, where about 450 customers didn’t have electricity Wednesday morning, New York State Electric and Gas Corp. reported. That’s less than 1% of its customers.

Another blast of cold air will hammer the Midwest and Northeast on Wednesday while the Southeast could see record lows as temperatures drop into the teens and 20s.

At least five people have died as a result of the storm.

One of the storm-related deaths was from a car accident. Three other people died due to cardiac issues that resulted from shoveling snow, Erie County officials said. And in Alden, New York, a 46-year-old man was found dead inside a car buried in 12 to 15 feet of snow, authorities said.

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Some places in the region have seen more than 5 feet of snow, while others could see 7½ feet more after another round of wintry weather hits this week.

That’s the equivalent of a year’s worth of snow that’s expected to pound some areas over a three-day period, Poloncarz said.

“It’s probably heavier than anything that we have seen in over 40 years, so it’s going to take some time to dig out,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.

The snow left people stranded in cars and turned roadways into parking lots. It also forced residents to seek shelter in unusual places.

About 20 people took refuge at a fire station and 20 others holed up in a police station Tuesday night, authorities said.

And as they waited, those at the fire station got a teeny weeny gift.

A baby girl was delivered there when an ambulance was unable to take her mother to the hospital, Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield said.

“She was born, she’s safe and she’s healthy,” Whitfield said.

South Buffalo firefighters battled the snow to reach people who had called for help, and emergency responders responding to some calls only found cars abandoned in snow drifts, The Buffalo News reported. Some crews carried stretchers along snow-choked streets because ambulances couldn’t drive through, Whitfield told the newspaper.

New York State troopers rescued the Niagara University women’s basketball team early Wednesday after it got stuck on a bus for more than 24 hours due to the snowstorm.
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