Man survives 10 hours in car buried in epic nor'easter snows

Daniel Martins
·3 min read
Man survives 10 hours in car buried in epic nor'easter snows
Man survives 10 hours in car buried in epic nor'easter snows
Man survives 10 hours in car buried in epic nor'easter snows

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The powerful nor'easter that brought dozens of centimetres of snow to parts of the U.S. northeast, along with significant totals in Nova Scotia, left one man buried in his for car 10 hours before being rescued by a police officer.

In a release Friday, the New York State Police said Sgt. Jason Cawley was following up on reports of a man whose vehicle had been run off the road and needed help, but whom law enforcement in the area had been unable to find.

Cawley drove to the man's last known location in the town of Owego Thursday morning, but despite patrolling the area, did not find the driver at first. But at one point, he spotted what he thought was a row of mailboxes and thought to check their addresses, and while digging down, hit the windshield of the missing man's car.

Car buried in snow new york state police
Car buried in snow new york state police

A New York State Police officer happened upon this vehicle, which had been plowed in by a truck in the New York town of Owego. Image courtesy New York State Police.

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Police say the car had been plowed in by a passing truck, and had been covered in four feet of snow. The driver, a 58-year-old man, was trapped for 10 hours without heat and was suffering from hypothermia and frostbite. He was taken to hospital.

That nor'easter brought extreme snowfall totals to parts of the U.S. northeast. Several states received more than 30 cm, and parts of upstate New York and Pennsylvania were buried in more than a metre of snow.

ussnow
ussnow

Winter is gradually settling into Canada, and depending on the circumstances, it wouldn't take as much as metre of snow to leave your own vehicle stranded.

Below are some tips from GetPrepared.ca for keeping safe if it happens to you:

  • Try to stay calm and don't go out in the cold. Stay in your car: you will avoid getting lost and your car is a safe shelter.

  • Don't tire yourself out. Shovelling in the intense cold can be deadly.

  • Let in fresh air by opening a window on the side sheltered from the wind.

  • Keep the engine off as much as possible. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and make sure the exhaust pipe is not obstructed by snow.

  • If possible, use a candle placed inside a deep can instead of the car heater to warm up.

  • Turn on warning lights or set up road flares to make your car visible.

  • Turn on the ceiling light; leaving your headlights or hazard lights on for too long will drain the battery.

  • Move your hands, feet and arms to maintain circulation. Stay awake.

  • Keep an eye out for other cars and emergency responders. Try to keep clothing dry since wet clothing can lead to a dangerous loss of body heat.

Before the flakes even start falling, be sure to keep a fully-stocked emergency kit in the trunk of your car.

SUPER-PREPARED REPORTER AND HER MUST-HAVE WINTER CAR EMERGENCY ITEMS

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