Thousands helping clear snow, federal aid sought

Posted at 9:56 AM, Nov 20, 2014

There are thousands of additional personnel from across New York State, other states and the National Guard working to dig out Western New York.

The state has brought in over 880 pieces of equipment and more than 100 contractors are in use to assist with snow removal efforts. There is also equipment from other states, such as Connecticut, and the National Guard in use.

Senator Charles Schumer says he has called the White House to request that President Barack Obama deploy federal assistance to Western New York. Schumar says a federal disaster declaration would make FEMA funds available to affected counties.

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Officials say Route 400 and 219 are in much better shape with almost if not all vehicles removed. The same is true for the NYS Thruway, where only around 45 semi drivers remain with their vehicles, by choice, at rest stops.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday this deployment is likely the largest of its kind, ever. Crews came all the way from Long Island to help in Western New York and reports said it looked like a convoy coming into the region.

Much of the help arrived Wednesday but more is on the way for Thursday. But Govenor Cuomo says even with snow removal efforts ramping up, roads will not be opened until at least after the second phase of lake effect, which could bring two to three feet of additional accumulation, passes through Western New York

He also wants everyone to be aware that even after the second phase of lake effect, there are additional dangers when temperatures warm up this weekend and the feet of snow dropped on Western New York begins to melt.

State Police remind everyone to make sure the vents to their furnace are clear and to check on your elderly neighbors. If you can do so safely, you may want to try to remove some of the snow from your roof as there have been several collapses.

Governor Cuomo says it will take days for normalcy return to Western New York.