Morning News Brief
Written by Tom Tharp on December 26, 2022
Over 4 feet of snow fell on Buffalo over the weekend. 49.2 inches were recorded on average with areas near the city getting over 2 feet. Buffalo has had up to 92 inches of snow so far this season. Rochester is only up to 9. Another 4-7 inches is expected through today. It is safe to say buffalo will be up for another Golden Snowball award this year.
All 5 floors of the clinical research center building at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester were damaged extensively when a standpipe on the top floor sprung a leak Monday. Crew from the Rochester Fire Department responded by shutting off water and power to the building. Hospital and patient care was not affected. The damage and lack of power was kept to just the Clinical Research Building, and crews are working to remove the water in the building.
I90 is back open but under winter travel advisory from Henrietta to the PA border. The road status is clear but with possible snow and ice conditions and wet spots. It was closed through the weekend and into Monday morning. The travel advisory for Genesee county was lifted Monday afternoon but caution is still being urged as conditions still exist.
Several agencies in the greater Rochester area sent units to the Buffalo area to lend a helping hand during the deadly winter storm there. Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced six Storm Emergency Fire Unit (SEFUs) were deployed in the area. Those units are from the Chili, Brighton, Henrietta, Gates, Ridge Road and Lakeshore fire departments. Rochester Police sent members of its Scuba Team to assist with rescue efforts. NYSP Troop E, based in the Rochester area, sent snowmobiles and UTVs to assist drivers stranded on the roads, and help with other search and rescue efforts.
Turns out western NYers are well equipped to deal with snow, who knew? Members of a local snowmobile club were out around-the-clock during the blizzard, working to rescue people and get essential workers to their jobs. The Northern Erie Sno-Seekers Snowmobile Club has heavy-duty equipment designed to shape trails for snowmobiles. These “groomers” were one of the few things that were able to transport people through the storm. From Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, members of the club rescued 41 people from Main Street in Clarence, including state troopers, ambulance workers, and a firefighter. They also worked with the Newstead Fire Company, NYS Police and the Newstead and Akron Highway Departments to pick up drivers and get them to plow trucks. On Sunday, members brought nurses from the Clarence/Amherst area to Buffalo General Hospital, an Emergency Room doctor to Sister’s Hospital, and a Buffalo Police Department Officer to his police station. Northern Erie Sno Seekers serves Erie, Niagara and Genesee Counties and has 700 members.
The Buffalo Bills couldn’t fly home to Buffalo as the airport was closed and there were 75 mile per hour winds blocking the way. Instead they opted to fly a bit further and land in Rochester Sunday afternoon. They were greeted by hundreds of fans on Airport Way at the Frederick Douglas International Airport. They then boarded busses and traveled with a police and plow escort on county routes back to Orchard Park. Their travels took them through downtown Batavia.
The Sabres game scheduled for Columbus Ohio has been postponed because the Sabres can’t get out of Buffalo. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is still shut down. The new date for the game has not been announced. The game against the Blue Jackets will be announced as soon as it can be confirmed.