The Blizzard of March 2014

Mar 13, 2014

You can call this one the March blizzard of 2014.  For the second time this season Western New York is dealing with heavy snow and strong winds, creating tough driving conditions and poor visibility at times.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Zaff says the storm is slowly moving east and the snow is expected to wind down later Wednesday evening, but not before some areas see more than 12 inches of snow.

"Most areas should see about a foot or so.  The highest amounts will be along the lake show of Lake Ontario...the lowest amounts will be down near the Pennsylvania border," Zaff said. 

Temperatures will continue to drop into the teens overnight with wind chill values in the single digits.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has been monitoring the blizzard from the Erie County Emergency Services Training and Operation Center in Cheektowaga.

"What we are worried about is blowing and drifting snow and whiteout conditions," said Poloncarz in a WBFO News interview. 

Many citizens have heeded the warnings and stayed off area roadways, but Poloncarz said there were still a number of accidents, including a jackknifed tractor trailer on the 90 Wednesday and another major accident on Route 5.

"People were driving into ditches. It can be very dangerous if you area stuck out in it," said Poloncarz.

The County's Department of Public Works crews have been working 12-hour shifts to keep roads cleared and salted.  

"We have from anywhere from 22 to 26 plows out on the county roads," said Poloncarz. "Our crews are doing well."    

Erie County Commissioner of Emergency Services, Daniel Neaverth, Jr., is also at the command center watching the storm.

"This is all about everybody keeping on the same page,"said Neaverth.

Because so many municipalities issued travel advisories, there were no major road rescues required Wednesday afternoon.

"They shutdown the Skyway knowing that conditions deteriorating enough that if they didn't we would have to start pulling people off," noted Neaverth.