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Winter blast hits Western New York

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Snowy weather across region

The National Weather Service says the moderate snow that had been falling all day Thursday became lighter during the evening hours.  But forecasters say strong winds up to 25 miles per hour were still creating blowing and drifting snow.

Even when the snow ends, they say the wind will continue to blow snow across roadways, making for slippery driving conditions.  And because of the bitter cold, road salt is not working as well at melting the snow.  So, most roads will continue to be snow covered. 

By early evening Thursday, more than six inches of snow had accumulated at the airport weather station.  Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County was reporting 11 inches. 

A winter storm warning was forecast to continue through 6am Friday. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday declared a statewide state of emergency.  Conditions east of Buffalo are far worse than here from this widespread storm.  The Thruway was closed from Albany to New York City.

People heading outside late Thursday and early Friday should prepare for bitterly cold wind chills.  A wind chill advisory is in effect through noon Friday.  There is a code blue Thursday night -- both the Buffalo City Mission and St. Luke's are open for people needing shelter. 

The city of Buffalo will have ten warming centers open tomorrow. They are:

  • 1).  Autumnwood  Senior Center, 1800 Clinton Street,  8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • 2).  Edward  Saunders Center, 2777 Bailey Ave,  8:00 to 4:00
  • 3).  FLARE, 307 Leroy,  8:30 to 4:30
  • 4).  Hispanics  United , 254 Virginia, 8:30 to 4:30
  • 5). Old First Ward,  62 Republic St.,  9:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • 6).  Richmond  Summer Senior Center, 337 Summer Street, 8:00 to 4:00pm
  • 7).  Salvation  Army Golden Age Center , 960 Main Street, 7:30 to 4:00pm
  • 8).  TOSH Collins, 35 Cazenovia , 9:00 to 4:00pm
  • 9).  West  Side Community Services , 161 Vermont St. , 8:30 to 5:30pm
  • 10).  William-Emslie YMCA Senior Center, 585 William Street , 7:00am to 9:00pm

Local school districts have their eye on the temperatures.  Late Thursday, it was announced that Salamanca  Schools would close Friday.
"This, for sure, is the coldest air mass of this winter season," said Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service.