Poloncarz unveils vehicle retrieval plan; another storm fatality

Nov 21, 2014

People who abandoned their cars during the height of this week's massive lake effect snow storm can begin retrieving them Saturday morning.  Starting at 9:00, the county website will have a listing of all the towed cars and where owners can find them.

A vehicle buried under snow off Seneca Street in West Seneca.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

County Executive Mark Poloncarz says about 500 cars were towed by county contractors to one of three lots.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and his staff at Friday evening storm briefing
Credit Photo by Mark Scott / WBFO News

"We are compiling a data base that will list the make, model, license plate number and location of the vehicle," Poloncarz said.

Poloncarz said once owners find where their vehicles were taken, they'll have to walk through the lot searching.  There are no maps.  But what about those who don't find their cars in the county database?

"If it was not towed by a county authorized contractor, I don't know where it might be," Poloncarz said.  "We only have the records of the towing companies that worked for us."

Owners whose cars were towed by the county will not have to pay a towing fee.  Poloncarz said the county is picking up the estimated $75,000 cost of removing abandoned cars from roadways.

Deaths associated with the storm continue to rise.  Friday, County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said yet another man trying to clear his driveway died.

"A 68-year-old male was working with his snow blower.  He had known cardiac issues.  He succumbed to a cardiac event," Burstein explained.

Earlier in the day, authorities reported a man had been found dead in a stranded car buried in snow on Innsbruck Drive near Union Road in Cheektowaga. 

But another report of the deaths of two elderly residents who were removed from their structurally unsound nursing home was incorrect.  Burstein confirmed Friday night only one resident had died.