BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- City of Buffalo crews are out salting the roads as Western New York prepares for more than a foot of snow to fall over the next 48 hours. Other parts of the state are bracing for a nor’easter.
New York State Police urge drivers to avoid traveling on Tuesday. NYS Thruway crews are working overtime in 12 hour shifts to keep the roads clear.
Travelers heading in and out of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport encountered cancellations and delays on Monday.
Donald Legg arrived in Buffalo from Baltimore as he heads to Erie, Pa. for business. He told News 4 Southwest Airlines called him Sunday night cancelling his Tuesday flight and re-booking him for Monday.
“Last night when they called me they said don’t call until tomorrow because we’re too busy to talk to you,” said Legg.
All Southwest, United and Jet Blue flights heading in and out of Buffalo on Tuesday have now been cancelled, according to the NFTA. Delta and American have also cancelled most flights.
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency for all of New York State starting at midnight on Tuesday.
“There are state pre-positioned reserves all over the place of supplies, sand bags, medicine and water and cots, all kinds of things,” said Richard Tobe, NYS Director of Upstate Revitalization. “Those are all now available to us.”
Tobe told News 4 the state of emergency also allows state snow removal crews to move to local streets if needed.
Western New York DOT resources may be sent to other parts of the state that are harder hit.
“Nothing will leave this area if people are not confident we can do our jobs here first,” said Tobe.
He stresses that WNY isn’t expected to be hit as hard as downstate.
“People should remain vigilant and careful but this is not the type of thing, at least for us, to panic about,” said Tobe.
The City of Buffalo reinstated the overnight parking ban along bus routes to allow plows to effectively clean the streets. The city has 30 to 35 pieces of equipment ready to clear snow, according to Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak.
He told us they also have a plan in place, with partners including the NFTA and Buffalo Sabres, to make sure the city is ready for the NCAA Tournament this week.
“We talked about snow removal responsibilities, what each individual is doing,” said Stepniak. “We’re going to stay in touch for the next two and a half days to ensure that all that gets accomplished and everybody has a great experience in the NCAA Tournament and that our residents get the services they need on their streets as well.”
Buffalo Police said they are also working with local hotels to make sure visitors are aware of the overnight parking ban.