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Limited state of emergency declared in South Buffalo

Eileen Buckley

A limited state of emergency has been issued in South Buffalo where two feet of blowing and drifting snow has blanketed the area. A driving ban has also been issued from Clinton Street south.

City of Buffalo Division of Parking Enforcement Commissioner Kevin Helfer says there are over 100 cars stranded in South Buffalo and nearly half of the vehicles have people still inside. He says the city is working to get tow trucks in, to get people out.

“If it’s an emergency obviously they call 911. If they would like to call 311 to let us know the location, that’s fine too. We’re starting on all the main arteries. We’re starting at the periphery of the city and working our way in conjunction with all the public works vehicles and all of our high lifts,” said Helfer.

Helfer says cars will be towed from their location to Dart Street in South Buffalo.

“Depending on the snow band and where it moves, we will probably make some alternative provisions in a little bit. We might go to a different location, but we will advise the public if we do that,” said Helfer.

Mayor Byron Brown is advising people to stay away from South Buffalo so that no more cars become stranded. He says police have been positioned at all entry and exit points in South Buffalo to enforce the ban.

“We’re not going to issue anyone a ticket right now, but we’re going to stop people moving in and out of South Buffalo. We understand the concern of getting home, but right now the roads are so treacherous there that people trying to drive are more than likely going to get stuck at some point,” said Brown.

Brown says only emergency personnel and medical workers are allowed to move about that part of the city.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office has offered assistance to the City of Buffalo. Commissioner of Public Works Steve Stepniak says snow mobiles, high lifts, and plowing assistance are being lent to South Buffalo from New York State.

"We're going to continue our operations through the night. Really take this storm serious and stay off the roadways in South Buffalo," said Stepniak.