Region hit by fierce storm that broke records in NYS

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Local municipalities prepared for what has been a complicated mix with the potential to cause the perfect storm in western New York as the area comes off the President’s Day holiday.

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Crews spent Monday night ahead of the front, which arrived in western New York early Tuesday, spreading de-icing solutions and salting roads to help ease the Tuesday morning commute after many had Monday off.

“Right now we have a general call out for 3 a.m.,” Cheektowaga Highway Superintendent, Mark Wegner said Monday. “I may have to call nine trucks in for the mains and the secondaries and then everybody’s coming in at three, but if it comes earlier we’re gonna be out there earlier.”

While Buffalo City trucks spent much of the evening pre-salting roads, Wegner doesn’t like that strategy, forecasted snowat least with this forecast.

“It depends on the temperature. It’s a game that we have to play,” he said. “I don’t want to run the roads black for a sixteen year old person that’s never been on black ice. I’m not gonna waste the salt.”

Town of Tonawanda crews have found a way to use less salt overall, they say. The Town’s trucks are equipped to use a liquid mixture of salt, salt brine and beet juice.

“It seems to work great,” Town of Tonawanda Highway Superintendent Bill Swanson said. “It’s good up to 10 degrees below zero. It saves us quite a bit of money by using salt brine. It’s a liquid that goes down, it’s not pure salt and can pre-treat up to 48 hours before. It stays on the road better, where salt lays in the curb lane, or in the enter of the street, where this lays across the whole street.”

The potentially dangerous snap follows a bitter stretch of cold weather that chilled many residents to the bone, with wind chill temperatures dipping below -20 degrees over the weekend.

A new front proves winter is not yet over, as the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for all of western New York to denote the dangers of the storm.

Specifically for western New York, a freezing mist was predicted to fall just before the snow struck overnight, leading to slick conditions on local roads, but snow that followed soon after only piled on to make a dangerous commute.

Regardless, local crews said they were prepared for the challenge.

Local temperatures have been in the range of 30 degrees for the first time in days — that means salt brine, which is used across the region, will work well on roads.

In the metro region, Buffalo could see over 10 inches of snow, with many parts of the area in the realm of seeing roughly a foot of snow. The Queen City broke a 1993 snowfall record for this day, reaching 7.5 inches by noon. The previous record was 6.6 inches.

snow record

East of Buffalo, travel in Monroe County was discouraged by the County Sheriff’s Office due to the inclement weather. Snowfall totals were higher in that region, reaching one foot in Rochester before noon. That city’s snowfall record was also broken for February 16. Rochester’s previous record was 11.1 inches, set in 2004.

Along with Monroe County, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and Dunkirk Police also advised travelers to stay off the roads Tuesday unless it was necessary.

It wasn’t only the roads though that felt Winter’s wrath, as power was affected in parts of western New York. More than 2,100 outages were reported in Allegany County.

As the inclement weather creeps into the region, keep up to date with the News 4 tools, found here:

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