WNY road crews 'ready' to take on weekend winter storm

Posted at 6:50 AM, Feb 05, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Road crews all over Western New York are preparing to take on the winter storm set to slam the region Friday and Saturday.

Several weather advisories and warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for much of Western New York already, 7 Eyewitness News reached out to several municipalities to find out how they are handling the preparations for the incoming weather.

The New York State Department of Transportation said as of Friday morning, 185 trucks were being sent out to prepare the road surfaces, with a total of 460 operators and supervisors engaged to handle the storm.

All local crews that were sent downstate to help deal with the nor'easter that buried much of the coastal states have returned and are ready. The DOT tells 7 Eyewitness News it is confident the crews they currently have will be enough to keep Western New York's roads clear and local drivers safe, so no additional resources have been called in from other parts of the state.

We also reached out to local crews that are being activated to ensure towns and cities around Western New York have clear roads.

Municipalities like Amherst, Cheektowaga, and Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties will each have dozens of crews out on the roads starting Friday evening. Each one tells 7 Eyewitness News they have enough salt on-hand to get through the weekend.

But one challenge crews will face, regardless of the amount of snow they are dealing with, is the wind.

"I'll take 12 inches of snowfall, any given day," said Town of Amherst Highway Superintendent Patrick Lucey. "We can clean that up within our six-to-seven-hour window. But if it's blowing, it's going to fill in what we've done and the trucks will have to repeat what they've done, and then it's an ongoing thing that you have to keep going back and forth."

Crews in Cheektowaga will be out from Friday night through Tuesday morning if necessary, but the town tells 7 Eyewitness News it hopes the weather will let up a bit on Sunday so it can give its crews the evening off to watch the Super Bowl.