3 people die while shoveling snow during mammoth New York City blizzard

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 15:40:46-05

NEW YORK – Three people have died in New York City during the mammoth blizzard that came roaring into the tri-state area late Friday.

The three deaths were all related to shoveling snow, NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill confirmed.

"As the mayor said, don't overexert yourself, please hire someone to do it for you," O'Neill said.  "If you have a good neighbor, maybe ask the good neighbor to come over and help you do what you need to do."

One person died on Staten Island and the other two in Queens, O'Neill said.

Along with the three deaths, O'Neill added that there had been 312 auto accidents and 343 vehicles towed in New York City during the storm.

The three deaths bring the East Coast death toll to 17, officials announced around 6 p.m.