FRIENDSHIP, N.Y. (WIVB) – Maple Grove Road and Pigtail, right next to Interstate 86 was “ground zero” of the manhunt Saturday but Sunday the law enforcement presence is noticeably lighter.
A few NYS Troopers News 4 spoke to said that area, is for the most part, cleared. Roads and even the interstate have reopened in Friendship Sunday evening.
The search has been going on all throughout Sunday, including starting early this morning when dozens of additional troopers and members of the State’s Department of Corrections descended on a neighborhood in Friendship.
During a press conference Sunday afternoon, New York State Police urged residents to remain vigilant and on alert. This, despite the fact that the tip that sparked the search Saturday is still an unconfirmed sighting of the escaped prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat.
Residents News 4 spoke to Sunday are aware of the impact this much law enforcement presence is having on the psyche of Allegany’s small towns.
Chris Ann, from Belfast said, “I think we should feel safe enough with the police presence that we have. I think that they’re doing a really good job of keeping everybody apprised of what’s going on, not that they have a lot of news or anything, but unless there’s been an absolute confirmation of something going on in this area, I think we should just go on. Otherwise, I think it’s going to put too much panic around this area.”
Just before 5:30 p.m., dispatchers announced regular traffic was once again being permitted over the airwaves. That’s significant because for a good portion of the day, those airwaves were used for emergency traffic only, as crews followed up on tips, and searched vehicles and homes.