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(NEWSER) – A 46-year-old man died overnight in a car buried in snow in a Buffalo suburb, becoming the fifth casualty so far in the monster storm that dumped up to 6 feet in the region.

The freak "wall of snow" has no meteorological term, according to a National Weather Service rep, who calls it "a historic event" and describes "whiteout to blue sky in a very, very short distance." The Buffalo News notes the storm "unleashed historic amounts of snow" in half of Erie County "while the sun shone brightly" on the other half." Indeed, a spot a mile from Lancaster saw 60 inches; Buffalo Niagara International Airport, just 6 miles northwest, logged 3.9 inches. Some 150 vehicles were stranded, reports the AP, with a 132-mile swath of the New York State Thruway shut down and some motorists trapped for 24 hour. Elsewhere:

  • Among the stranded vehicles was a bus carrying the Niagara University women's basketball team; the players were stuck for almost 30 hours before being rescued today. The women ran through all their food and water and were forced to drink melted snow, notes the Washington Post. "It started to get bad fast at about 2am (Tuesday) and we came to a dead stop and haven't moved since," the Niagara coach told the AP last night. "It was a rough weekend for us on the court and it just won't end."

Photo: Getty Images

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