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Impassable roads require the assistance of snowmobiles to make it to stranded drivers

Erie County, the City of Lackawanna, and the Town of West Seneca are all using sleds to assist.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Western New York municipalities have resorted to using snowmobiles to reach those stranded and or in need of help during the Blizzard of 2022.

A common practice during previous severe storms, notably during 'Snovember 2014.' Friday morning the City of Lackawanna, one of the hardest hit areas, asked people for immediate help on Facebook. 

Neighbors were asked to contact the City of Lackawanna Police Department to help with their sleds. Their message read, "LACKAWANNA SEEKING VOLUNTEERS WITH SNOWMOBILES ASAP."

Not a few hours later, the City posted a heartfelt message thanking everyone who offered to help assist those stranded by the storm.

"We are all set with volunteers and grateful to everyone," they said in an updated post.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN A TIME OF NEED! Our heartfelt thanks to all who shared and responded to the city's...

Posted by Lackawanna NY - City Government on Saturday, December 24, 2022

Members of the WNY Snowmobile Club of Boston told 2 On Your Side they were asked to bring a groomer up to West Seneca and further north to help stranded persons.

In Niagara County snowmobilers and track vehicles, have been assisting the Sheriff's Office since early Friday morning according to Sheriff Michael Filicetti.

"We're trying to get some of these responders to locations where there are incidents happening, people whether it's a medical call, or they have something like carbon dioxide call where we are having struggles just to get to issues that we're having," said Filicetti.

The Sheriff added that groups like the Shawnee Sno Chiefs and their snowmobiles and grooming gear were out working Friday evening. Some Niagara County fire departments also had track vehicles operating in a couple of areas.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz shared late Friday morning that the county's emergency services team had snowmobile rescue teams out in the Cheektowaga area.

Poloncarz said the team reported that people were attempting to drive on Harlem, Union, and Walden Avenues and were clogging roads that were already impassable.

"People were trying to drive north into the storm area," Poloncarz said in a post on Twitter. Erie County remains under an indefinite travel ban.

During a press conference, Erie County Emergency Services Commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. said the focus for crews Friday would be clearing emergency and medical routes. 

He also had this message to those looking to drive: "Don't get that sense of arrogance that it's not that bad, it IS that bad."

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