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Buffalo prepares for first significant snowfall of the season

Posted at 11:44 PM, Dec 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-23 23:44:14-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A white Christmas could be in store for parts of Western New York, with more than a foot of snow predicted for some areas by Saturday morning.

Buffalo city officials said crews are ready to clear more than 800 miles of city roadway. Mayor Byron Brown said the city has 70 truck drivers, 100 pieces of equipment in the winter fleet, and about 3,500 tons of salt.

Department of Public Works Commissioner Mike Finn said the late snow means more salt is ready to go.

“We’re a little ahead of the game with salt at this point," he said. "The pile right next to us is pretty enormous. We’ve usually used some, or certainly more by now, we have used some already.”

The city is asking everyone who lives on a street with 9 a.m.-4 p.m. alternate side parking to register for BuffAlert Parking Updates. Residents who park cars on those streets may have received the notice below on their car, it has information on how to sign up.

Parking has been allowed on both sides of the street during the pandemic, but now plows and emergency vehicles may need to get through.

“You might not have to move your car on Monday, but we need to be able to notify people 24 hours ahead of time,” said Mayor Byron Brown.

Brown said almost 5,000 people have signed up for the alerts so far, but there are more than 25,000 households on these streets.

Garbage pickup will be on Saturday, not Friday due to Christmas. If the storm impacts Saturday pickup, city officials say leave the garbage out so it can be picked up Sunday.

As city officials prepare, so are local businesses and Western New Yorkers.

Gary Edmonds of Orchard Park stopped by Arthur's Hardware Store for a snow brush and oil for his snowblower.

“I wanted to make sure I've got what I need to get my driveway clean and be able to travel,” Edmonds said.

Vice President David Even said the store usually gets busy ahead of the first storm, but they're stocked up.

“A lot of people getting ready for the storm," Even said. "Shovels, snowblowers, been selling a lot of those lately, and then a couple of chainsaws and stuff in preparation for limbs falling down.”

The possible white Christmas comes with scaled back hours for many stores. Arthur's Hardware closes at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and is closed Christmas Day. Even said find your shovels and test your snow blowers now.

“Be prepared, be quick, and do it before the storm,” Even said.