BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In a phone call early Tuesday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz requested the National Guard to assist with roadways clogged with hundreds of stranded vehicles. Governor Cuomo obliged, and the New York National Guard is mobilizing troops to help snow-inundated areas.
The National Guard is to send 150 soldiers and airmen, seven Bobcats, 10 dump trucks, five humvees. The soldiers will come from the 152nd Engineer company in Buffalo and the 827th Engineer Company in Horseheads. Airmen from the 107th Airlift Wing at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will also respond.
Poloncarz was looking for plows, pay-loaders, high-lifts, tow-trucks and drivers to aid in the removal of several feet of snow which has halted all traffic in southern Buffalo. The national guard will be working with Buffalo City and Erie County Departments of Public Works to fulfill the needs of the area best.
In a release, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wanted to reinforce the following road closures:
NYS Thruway (I-90) from Exit 46 in Rochester to Exit 61 in Ripley;
I-290 from Exit 6 (Sheridan Drive) to the Thruway (I-90);
I-190 Niagara Thruway from exit 1 (South Ogden Street, near Thruway mainline exit 53) to exit 16 (I-290, neat South Grand Island Bridge);
Route 5 (the Skyway) between I-190 Niagara Thruway and Tifft Street in the city of Buffalo;
Route 219 between the Thruway and Route 39 in the town of Concord;
Route 400 between the Thruway in West Seneca and Route 16 in the town of Aurora.
All of Fredonia, N.Y. is closed with a travel ban
The Niagara Frontier Transportaion Authority also suspended bus routes in southern Buffalo, but north Buffalo, routes are running normally. Routes 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 36, 42, 69, 70, 72, 74, 75 and 76 are all closed.
No Amtrak trains will stop west of Albany. Trains won’t come in or leave either of Buffalo’s Amtrak stations.
This assistance is in addition to a set of plows diverted to help western New York from across the state by Cuomo’s office Monday.