All of WNY Prepares For Big Winter Storm

February 1, 2011 Updated Feb 1, 2011 at 8:11 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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February 1, 2011 Updated Feb 1, 2011 at 8:11 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- Salt trucks are out and hundreds of snow plows are ready to go in Western New York, supplied by state and local agencies. It's because this next snow event isn't going be confined to a few spots like we've seen this winter with lake effect snow but instead we're preparing for our first widespread winter storm of the season. "This affects the whole western part of New York State, in fact all of New York State will be impacted," David Zaff, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said. "As far as snow totals go we are looking for anywhere from 8 and 16 inches Buffalo to Rochester and north, and much less further to the south."

Spots like Niagara County, which hasn't seen any big snow events this winter, will now get hit with possibly more than a foot of snow late Tuesday night into Wednesday. "Getting a good night's rest because I probably won't be home for a couple days after this," Art Curcione, a plow truck driver in Niagara Falls, said.

"Every piece of equipment that we have is up and running," David Kinney, the Director of Public Works for Niagara Falls, said.

Areas south of Buffalo won't see the snow piling up quite as much, but could be dealing with a mix of snow and freezing rain. "That may end up being the bigger story for this event," Zaff said. "Snow of course is a big event...freezing rain can be treacherous and dangerous with power outages and trees and power lines down."

Officials from the New York State Thruway Authority are trying to make sure what happened in early December, when people were stuck on the Thruway for days from a lake effect storm, doesn't happen again in this storm. The Thruway Authority announcing an updated plan on Tuesday, to keep things under control on the freeway. In addition to supplying Western New York with nearly 200 snow plows and more than 500 operators, it also has a plan of action to close Thruway exits and entrances in many spots, before the traffic builds up. "The big part of this is to take decisive action, so when we're immediately aware of if the road is blocked, we will take immediate action to bring the traffic away, closing the Thruway if necessary to keep people from getting stuck," Thomas Pericak, the Division Director for the NYS Thruway Authority, said.

For updates on the latest road conditions on the Thruway you can call 1-800-842-2233 or log on to www.thruway.ny.gov.