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Data: Buffalo’s snowplowing efforts focused on main roads, city center

A car abandoned on Winspear Ave., just of Main St. , Dec. 26, 2022
BTPM Photo/Beth Fronckowiak
A car abandoned on Winspear Ave., just of Main St. , Dec. 26, 2022

Buffalo’s municipal snowplows are focused on downtown, the Niagara District, the Masten Park neighborhood and main roads throughout the city, according to the city’s snowplow status map. Much of North Buffalo, University Heights, South Buffalo and the Lovejoy District haven’t been plowed by municipal plows in at least 30 hours.

Buffalo’s Department of Public Works is still providing “search and rescue support” alongside first responders but has shifted its focus to clearing city streets, DPW Commissioner Nate Marton said at a press conference Tuesday.

“A lot of the main and secondary [roads] are open and passable. Some are better than others,” Marton said. “Some of the main thoroughfares where we have a lot of traffic and anticipate the emergency response and additional snow hauling equipment coming through, those are cleared a little bit more… And again, we are moving into the residential [streets] in all parts of the city.”

The city has deployed 268 pieces of snow removal equipment to assist with storm cleanup, Marton said. That number includes equipment operated by county and state employees, private contractors and the National Guard. Amherst, Rochester and Syracuse have also sent equipment.

The snowplow map tracks the progress of 120 DPW plows, according to an October report, but doesn’t necessarily track contractors or other plows.

In areas where the snow is too deep to plow, Marton says DPW has had to remove snow by scooping it into dump trucks and transporting it, “one dump truck at a time,” to one of four sites throughout the city, a time-consuming process.

“This is a long slow process as we experienced previously,” Marton said. “A call to plow your street is not what it might be in a normal storm with this historic snowfall.”

Marton urged residents to stay off city roads and obey travel restrictions so that plows can work unimpeded. A travel ban remains in effect within city limits as of Tuesday evening, with travel advisories in place in the rest of Erie County.