By David Highfield

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ERIE (KDKA) — The record setting snowfall is difficult for even lifelong Erie residents to believe like state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro.

“Growing up here, I have experienced my fair amount of storms. I can tell you, I have never experienced anything like this,” said Rep. Bizzarro. “This snowfall came very rapidly. We were expecting a little bit of snowfall; nothing like this was projected.

A snow emergency was lifted late Wednesday afternoon after 53 inches of snow fell in less than 36 hours. But Rep. Bizzarro says the total is actually closer to 70 inches now.

“It’s been a hell of a 48 hours to say the very least, but the community is coming together,” he said. “Everyone’s working together.”

Snow piled up on roads, burying cars and bringing traffic to a halt. People who do venture out are helping one another.

Melissa Geisler is from Erie, but escaped to Pittsburgh just in time and then had to extend her stay.

“We came here to visit family, so we escaped it very slowly the other day, so we’re not going back,” she said.

And while some in Erie are having a little fun, it’s actually serious business helping people, and the town is appreciative for help from PEMA and the National Guard.

“Not only came in to clear snow, they’ve provided hummers, they’ve provided supplies, they’ve bent over backwards for us. And were very grateful to them,” said Rep. Bizzarro.

The snow emergency was lifted at 4 p.m., but the representative says some snow was still coming down Wednesday night.

Both City of Pittsburgh Public Works, and the PennDOT district have offered to send help to Erie County. But Erie officials now say they don’t need that help in part because of the National Guard deployment.