Cuomo: National Weather Service got it wrong

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dozens of western New Yorkers are complaining about the conditions in their communities. Viewers are asking, “Why is help taking so long and why wasn’t my community more prepared?” Saturday night in Lackawanna, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it’s because the National Weather Service got it wrong.

4 Warn Weather meteorologists predicted the lake effect storm well in advance, but Cuomo said he is not satisfied with how it was forecasted, so the state is getting its own equipment to provide more data.

“Apparently they’ve been doing some of the main streets but none of the side streets, you’ve got cars in front of you stuck, cars in back stuck, nothing’s going on,” said Tony Darmstedter, of Lackawanna.

During a tour in Lackawanna, Cuomo delivered food at the Lackawanna Senior Center.
During a tour in Lackawanna, Cuomo delivered food at the Lackawanna Senior Center.

During a tour of Lackawanna on Satruday, Cuomo said there’s a reason the city is still snowed in.

Cuomo said, “I think Lackawanna by design was probably hit harder than any other community compounded by narrow streets, compounded by abandoned cars in those narrow streets.”

As far as why they weren’t prepared, the governor says the National Weather Service is to blame. He said, “It came down earlier than forecasted and it came at a higher volume than they forecasted.”

His solution? The state is getting its own weather system and each county will soon be able to monitor its own weather. The state is using $15 million of federal funding granted after Superstorm Sandy.

“I went through this with Storm Irene, Storm Lee, Hurricane Sandy, none of them were predicted where they were predicted and how they actually happened.  Accurate weather prediction is a big deal now, it’s taken on a new context now with this extreme weather,” said Cuomo.

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