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Winter storm hovers over metro region

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A lake effect snow storm continues its march across the Western New York region Wednesday. The snow along with increasing winds continue in Buffalo and areas south of the region.   

WBFO's Marian Hetherly talks with Dale Zuchlewski of the Homeless Alliance of WNY about Code Blue policy

Snowfall rates have been between one to two inches per hour across Buffalo, Hamburg, West Seneca and East Aurora. The National Weather Service said the band will expand farther away from the lake and into western portions of Wyoming and Genesee Counties. Snow will also increase late Wednesday morning and into early afternoon.

Winds will gust up to 35 miles per hour are creating blowing and drifting snow and treacherous driving conditions.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
City of Buffalo secondary streets snow covered Wednesday.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said crews are working to keep streets clear and asked for more plows.

“Buffalo has requested additional plows,” remarked Brown, during a morning briefing.

The Mayor said he hopes to get to residential streets with those additional plows.   

Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrived in Buffalo Wednesday morning, appearing with the Mayor, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and other leaders to discuss the storm situation at the New York State Thruway garage in Cheektowaga.

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Snow plow along Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, N.Y.

The governor, once again, emphasizing that a ban for tractor trailers and buses continues along the Thruway. He noted just one trailer could close a road for hours.

“We are not kidding about the tractor trailer ban and bus ban. The fines are steep,” Cuomo declared.   “State Police are on the major roads. It will be enforced,” said Cuomo. “We know that the tractor trailers, in this type of weather, are a problem.”        

Erie County Executive Poloncarz issued a travel advisory for ALL of Erie County due to the deteriorating conditions in central and southern Erie County.   

“There are no travel bans at this time, though many advisories exist,” Poloncarz stated in a tweet. 

Officials continue to ask the public to avoid unnecessary travel.    

Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Snow and blowing snow making difficult driving conditions in Buffalo.

The Skyway in Buffalo remains closed, Route 5 from Route 179 into downtown Buffalo in both directions.

Cuomo noted the cold temperatures and high wind chill will continue making it difficult for emergency services. He said the polar vortex will be statewide. The governor is also urging drivers to stay off the road.  

“Let the plows do their work,” remarked Cuomo.    

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.
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