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Commute expected to be slow as crews prepare for evening snowfall

Avery Schneider/WBFO News

Motorists can look forward to a slow afternoon commute home, with another winter blast coming in. A Lake-Effect Snow Warning is in effect for Northern Erie and Niagara counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday and until 10 p.m. Wednesday for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and until 4 a.m. Thursday for Southern Erie and Wyoming counties. Genesee and Orleans counties are under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory until 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Metro Buffalo and the northern counties of Western New York are forecast to receive 1 to 3 inches of accumulation Tuesday night. Area south of the city can expect between 3 and 7 inches.

Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steven Stepniak says city crews and drivers already dealt with whiteout conditions earlier Tuesday afternoon.

"You need extra time to get to where you're going. Slow down," urged Stepniak, speakign at a City Hall news briefing.

Stepniak says his crews are working 12 hours on and 12 hours off and there are more than 30 pieces of equipment on the streets, concentrating on school zones and main streets initially. He says crews are being forced to adapt.

"We've had conditions changing hourly, so being able to adapt and modify what you're doing on the street is important," he said.

Stepniak says the increasingly computerized and satellite-controlled force is doing a good job plowing.

More snow is on the way Wednesday. The city and its surrounding areas could see 1 to 2 inches, while the Southtowns and Southern Tier might receive another 3 to 7 inches of new accumulation.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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