Residents and local leaders analyze recent storm response

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – One by one people voiced their concerns about the community’s responses to last month’s historic lake effect storm.

The South Buffalo Coalition of Block Clubs hosted the public meeting Monday night.

Community leaders and residents looked at what can be done better the next time a weather emergency hits the region.

Many residents said they want to see sidewalks cleared better.

“After this major event, there were many people that could not get their sidewalks cleared because of how much of the snow was being dumped in front of their property,” Debbie Fay of South Buffalo said.
“Nine to ten feet high is impossible to clear yourself.”

Another safety issue that concerned residents was the driving bans. Residents said they want to be notified earlier about them.

Linda Freidenberg, the president of the Board of Block Clubs of Buffalo and Erie County suggested, “Letting people know that they should be preparing to shelter in place when a storm is coming and suggesting they go out and get groceries.”

People also requested that drivers face heftier fines or consequences if they travel during a ban.

Buffalo’s Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak said he’s going to work to ensure the issues are addressed.

“We’ve been here before. We’ve talked about this. And again it’s nice to see a lot of people very satisfied and sure a couple of people that want to look at things differently,” Stepniak said.

Also if people missed work and lost wages because they were snowed in or stopped due to a driving ban, State Senator Tim Kennedy explained that there is a way to get reimbursed.

“If an individual has lost wages because of the storm they should contact the Department of Labor and they will be able to work them through the process,” Kennedy (D) said.

Lastly if anyone still needs to file a damage claim with FEMA, officials said it’s not too late to submit one.

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