Buffalo Snow Storm

December 3, 2010 by USA Post 

Buffalo Snow Storm, (AP) – Authorities plan to review emergency procedures following an accident on a highway in western New York that hundreds of motorists stranded for hours under the influence of a strong snowstorm.

Michael R. Fleischer, executive director of the New York State Thruway Authority, told the Buffalo News that although the sudden storm overwhelmed officials Wednesday night “people who could and wanted to be evacuated should have been.”

Storm Lake Erie fed which began Wednesday and continued through Thursday buried parts of Buffalo and some suburbs up to 32 inches of snow. Downtown Buffalo was largely spared. Dozens of schools canceled classes.

State police Sgt. Gregory Peron said Interstate 90 reopened in both directions shortly after 6 pm on Friday.

Fleischer joined the Authority Vice-Chair Donna J. Luh by calling”post-status” and new plans to ensure that the situation does not recur, the newspaper said. Both called the incident are unacceptable.

Police closed Highway 90 at about 3 am Thursday after a truck jackknifed on the previous evening and vehicles became backed up and buried in drifting snow, State Trooper Daniel Golinski said. Drivers were also stuck on a 3-mile stretch of Interstate 190.

Although parts of I-90, better known as New York Thruway, were reopened at noon, an 11-mile stretch was closed as night fell. Traffic, mainly big trucks, was sustained for about two miles in the eastbound lanes and head mile west after sunset.

Jack Geiselman, who was stranded for 14 hours in 32 degree weather, he took all in stride.

“I tend not to be a freak-and-raver on things and the fact is, it’s nothing that I have no control over,” the 60-year semi-retired engineer Civil said. “I guess the way I see it is, it’s over. I guess things happening. This is not the end of the world. ”

Geiselman was traveling in a Honda Civic from Keene, NY; to Cleveland with his black lab Boomer to help her daughter lent her house for a baby due between Christmas and New Year. He had with him a sleeping bag and warm clothes and gas. He said state troopers came with coffee and food for people in cars.

Emergency crews on ATVs last bar of water and protein, and bus drivers picked up and delivered to a shelter in a center for the elderly.

State police had no reports of a medical emergency, even if a motorist uses more oxygen was among the stranded and were taken to safety, said Capt. Michael nigrella.

Do not get discouraged, two truck drivers who have left their tandems slowed the morning tramping through the snow for about half a mile take a breakfast sandwich and coffee from the highway. They seemed almost cheerful despite the success of their livelihoods.

“The wheels are in motion and we do nothing,” said Don Lanphere, 51, a trucker for 32 years carrying the dog food. “Guys do make money are the plow operators.”

“I was listening to the radio,” said Curt Doverspike, 40, a trucker from Jamestown. “They said we should leave soon. Nothing ever happened so we come to bed, woke up this morning. We’re just kind of habit.”

He said frequent travelers have been venting their frustration, but truck drivers have been calmer.

“There are traffic jams, accidents all the time,” Doverspike said. “You just get used to. I guess it’s easier for us than those in cars because they are frustrated. We have a bed. If you’re bored, they went to bed and go to bed. ”

Nigrella said the combination of snow falls fast and the large number of commercial vehicles – many of which had to be towed after the snow piled up around them – is the reopening of the slow lane going.

“Unfortunately, this is not something that can be defeated very quickly,” he said.

Some drivers left the road to find shelter at truck stops, parking lots and city streets, but most kept their rigs parked on the road, including driver’s tandem.

Matt Welling pulled a tractor-trailer double grocery where traffic has stopped. He spent the night “sitting, playing a little solitaire on the computer, take a nap,” said the pilot Wegmans after more than eight hours stuck on the road.

“I’m pretty cold, hunger. A good cup of coffee would do very well at the moment,” he said by cell phone.

Driving restrictions were put in place in southern suburbs of Buffalo and Cheektowaga, Depew, Lancaster and West Seneca, where bands of snow hung on stubbornly.

The snow tapered off in light snow showers on Friday morning. Forecasters said snow was expected to further Friday, but in lesser amounts.

Cattaraugus County on the southwest edge of New York, flooding was an issue of heavy rains. Two emergency shelters were opened in Olean and Portville, as the Allegheny River reached moderate flood stage. Between 50 and 100 houses were affected, said Stephanie Timblin, spokesman for the county office of emergency services.

Associated Press writers Christopher Carola in Albany and Ben Dobbin in Cheektowaga contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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