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Digging out after lake effect storm dumps snow across WNY

Posted at 7:33 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 19:33:54-05

Parts of Western New York had a very white Christmas thanks to a considerable amount of lake effect snow dumped across parts of Chautauqua County. Southern Erie, Wyoming and Cattaraugus Counties also saw some of the effects of the system.

Chautauqua County courts were closed Tuesday and the county seat, Mayville, was dealing with poor road conditions and consistent snowfall through Tuesday evening.

Oliver Simpson spent part of the afternoon shoveling through waist deep snow to make a path to the front door of his girlfriend's apartment.

"It doesn't matter who it was for," he said. "It could be for a random person. I'd always help them out. Especially if they're unable to get into their house."

After a few more mild winters in Chautauqua County, Simpson was a little surprised to see so much snowfall in such a short period of time.

"This is a little abnormal, I would say," he explained. "I've been living here for about seven years. I haven't seen the snow like this on the sidewalks in Mayville in seven years."

Part of that might be due to the fact the village's sidewalk plow was out of service during the storm.

John Buxton is the Department of Public Works superintendent. His crews worked most of Christmas day and were back out on the roads at 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.

"This is the worst two-day snow event we've seen in quite a while now," Buxton said.

He discussed some of the challenges to clearing snow from roads while the snow storm continues.

"Keeping the roads open. It's coming, at times, faster than we can keep up with it," he explained.

Chautauqua County said Tuesday afternoon all roads were passable, but advised drivers to travel only if necessary and with caution. Crews were shifted to the areas hit hardest by the snow storm.