Buffalo, NY (WKBW-TV) - As residents begin to dig out Friday, viewers continue to send us their photos of the snow.
Check out these updated photos from throughout WNY.
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The Thruway Authority released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
"Due to a major snow storm that began approximately 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1, the westbound section of the New York State Thruway (I-90) from milepost 422 to milepost 426 and the eastbound section from milepost 427.6 to milepost 432 is closed. The vast majority of vehicles that remain stranded today are tractor trailers. Many passenger cars remain stranded as well.
This major storm incident had its main effect in the area of the Thruway that is toll-free, and therefore there are no toll plazas or personnel that are assigned to these entrance locations which would have helped prevent additional vehicles from entering the roadway once it is closed. As a result, it is estimated that hundreds of vehicles remain stranded after deteriorating weather conditions closed the roadway overnight.
Thruway personnel have been working around the clock in an effort to deal with between five and 24 inches of snow that has closed the four-mile stretch of the Thruway. The cumulative length of the queue has been reduced by half this afternoon
Erie County emergency service organizations are assisting State Police Troop T in checking on and aiding stranded motorists. No injuries have been reported up to this time, although one person using oxygen was transported as a precaution.
All Terrain Vehicles, snowmobiles, plows and tow-trucks are involved in rescue and digging-out operations, and providing sustenance and gasoline, as needed.
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority buses are transporting stranded motorists to the Cheektowaga Senior Center which is being used as a shelter.
Currently snow is falling in some effected areas at the rate of one inch per hour, and is expected to continue for another four to six hours. There is no estimated time for a re-opening of the highway at this time.
Tolls will be waived for vehicles caught in the situation, and E-ZPass users will have their accounts adjusted accordingly. Motorists who have abandoned their vehicles are advised to call the Thruway Statewide Operations Center at (800) 842-2233. Any towing charges incurred will be covered by the Thruway.
The Thruway Authority will conduct a post-situation review to improve its performance during future storm incidents. Operational changes are anticipated based on the experience from this storm, and the review will evaluate methods to prevent additional vehicles from entering the system once it is closed. Gates at the un-tolled entrance ramps are something that will be considered. New types of barriers that will allow for u-turns from one direction to another are another possibility that will be considered."
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