BUFFALO, NY - So often we hear from officials that they have enough salt, they have enough plows, which we heard again Tuesday from the City of Buffalo. So, we spent a lot of time looking at what crews are doing that's new this winter season.
We start in the City of Buffalo. The city has bought five new plows, and has more than 100 pieces of equipment to deal with the snow. All of them are equipped with GPS, so officials know where they are located. Of those new plows, a couple of them are smaller plows that can clear dead ends, and tighter roads, like you often find on the west side.
"That smaller piece of equipment we found to be very stable going down an island street or a narrow west side street it won't shift side to side, it's a very productive piece of equipment," said Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak.
The city also has on standby snowmobiles and ATVs that the city bought during the Snowvember storm a few years ago. Officials say they learned a lesson from that storm, like many agencies did, that they weren't able to get through certain areas, packed with a lot of snow.
And as the storm approaches, the state Department of Transportation has a plan for clearing a major roadway in the Southtowns. Last winter, Milestrip Road, right by the Ford Plant, became a parking lot, with vehicles getting caught in snow.
Since that pileup, the state DOT says it setup a task force, which includes police, the Town of Hamburg, the county and other agencies to come up with a snow clearing plan.
It was early January, heavy snow brought traffic to a halt on roads like Milestrip and Abbott Road in the Southtowns. A couple hundred drivers abandoned their cars.
"These abandoned cars clogged our roads, cars clogged our roads, Abbott Road northbound from Milestrip was a parking lot," said Orchard Park police chief Mark Pacholec.
The state DOT says it has a plan for this storm coming up, focusing on Milestrip Road between Route 5 and into Orchard Park in which a snow plow, a loader, police, and possibly a towing company will all work Milestrip.
"And they'll just be constantly manning that beat to make sure that that area stays clear," said state DOT spokesperson Susan Surdej.
The state says the equipment will be setup Tuesday at the Newton Abbott fire hall on Abbott Road, and will begin working, when the snow starts to fall, to make there isn't a repeat of what happened in January.
2 On Your Side asked what was the big problem or shortfall during that storm.
"Part of it too was getting the message out to drivers that area was getting congested to please avoid that area we had a lot of snowfall in a short amount of time," Surdej said, "we want to make sure that our messaging is clear this year, we want to make sure we have the necessary resources."
And part of getting that message out is putting up message signs, which the state says it will setup on Route 5 and Milestrip, displaying traffic information such as possible delays and detours.