Deadly western New York snowstorm to get second wind
BUFFALO – Buffalo is getting blasted with a second hit of snow. The lake-effect snow that has dumped up to five feet of snow in parts of the city is getting set today to dump up to three more feet of the white stuff on the city today.
Residents of western New York are bracing themselves for more snow…after a freakish storm dumped five feet — or 1.5 meters — of snow in some parts of the region.
At least seven people were killed and several motorists were stranded overnight.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says, “This is an historic event. When all is said and done this snow will break all sorts of records.”
The snow let up around the city of Buffalo on Wednesday morning but has returned overnight — dumping an estimated three additional feet — or 1 meter.
The NFL Buffalo Bills are not letting the massive snow interrupt their plans for Sunday’s game. “We have not had this much snow as far as we know in the history of our team,” said Bills VP of Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major. “It might take three days or so to remove one foot of snow before a game and now we’ve got four feet of snow on a 200 acre site where there’s potential for more coming. So right there it gives you the magnitude.”
Major says the first step in the process is to clear the field and make sure it’s safe and playable, followed by the plowing of the parking lots, then the digging out of the concourses, gates, stands, entryways, stairs and seats. With that monstrosity of a task ahead – and as is always the case when snow removal is necessary at the Ralph – the Bills are asking the community for additional help in shovelLing out the stadium.
“We’re just going to have to go 24/7, triple shifts, to push forward and make sure we have this place ready for Sunday,” Major said, giving a target number of 500 shovelers. “We can’t have too many people helping, so there’s no cutoff. We will definitely not be turning anybody away who wants to help shovel snow.”
(If you’d like to help shovel out the Ralph for $10 an hour plus game tickets once travel bans have been lifted and it’s safe to get to the stadium, email email@example.com or call 716-636-4840. This number is correct but may appear busy or incorrect due to the high volume of calls.)
State of Emergency in New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for 10 counties.
And National Guard troops are being deployed to help residents cope with the snow.
“We are deploying the National Guard to ramp up efforts to keep western New York residents safe and to assist storm recovery efforts in any way possible,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Travel bans and advisories remain in effect, and I urge drivers to stay off the roads so that our state agencies and the National Guard can assist those that need help.”
About 240 soldiers and airmen were working today and more are expected tomorrow, Guard officials said.
Soldiers of the 152nd and 827th Engineer Companies will deploy eight front-end loaders, seven Bobcats and 10 dump trucks to assist in snow removal in Erie County, where hard-hit Buffalo is located.
Three front-end loaders were in action last night, and one loader aided the New York State Police and the New York State Thruway Authority in freeing a stranded bus carrying the women’s basketball team from Niagara University.
A National Guard initial response force of 20 airmen and five Humvees from the 107th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will deploy to assist in traffic control duties, and a second IRF from the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion in Rochester will deploy 20 soldiers and five Humvees to assist in snow removal at an assisted-living center in West Seneca.
Two more initial response forces totaling 40 personnel and 10 Humvees — one from the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse and one from the 27th Brigade Combat Team — were to mobilize and deploy today to the Buffalo area to assist as needed.
The 174th was preparing to send two of its snow-blowing runway trucks to Buffalo today, with two drivers in each vehicle.
Humvees and Drivers
Additionally, the Guard is adding 35 Humvees with two soldiers in each Humvee to assist in traffic control as directed by local officials from the Erie County Emergency Operations Center.
These troops, from the 53rd Troop Command elements based in central New York, will mobilize today and likely will deploy to the region tomorrow, officials said, noting that this will bring the
VIDEO by Reuters