First responders from Rochester area continue to help Buffalo after deadly snowstorm
UPDATE: The death toll for the Buffalo snowstorm is now up to 34 as of Wednesday morning, reports our Buffalo NBC affiliate.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The death toll from the monster storm sits at 30 on Tuesday. Now that most life-saving searches have been completed, the focus is turning to clean up. Resources are coming in from across the state to help, including a lot from the Rochester community.
The blizzard in Buffalo was relentless. For days, all we could do was watch and send our thoughts and prayers to those living through it. Rochester Mayor Evans spoke about how Rochester is helping its neighbor to the west.
“This has been absolutely catastrophic for Buffalo and we stand with Buffalo because we know that they would do the same thing for us,” Mayor Evas said. “We stood with them after the mass shooting, we sent as you know, firefighters almost a month ago I believe for the last snow storm that they had just before thanksgiving, Buffalo is being pummeled.”
The Rochester SCUBA team that was called right away to help search cars and homes for survivors. The City of Rochester is also sending a team of more than a dozen people with a half-dozen dump trucks and front loaders.
“It is completely snow and ice removal,” said Rochester Department of Environmental director Richard Perrin. “That is what it’s going to be that’s why we’re not bringing plows we’re bringing dump trucks in front loaders the idea is that we know will be assigned to north Buffalo and the north towns and making sure that we can dig them out.”
There are also a few dozen firefighters from towns across Monroe County on the ground in Buffalo along with two fire engines.
“Monroe County has sent some specialized Office of Emergency Management teams in with cargos,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “Thank you to Adam Bello the Monroe County executive for sending additional folks and most of them got in last night, early morning and are getting sent out. The Monroe County folks are going right to a fire station.”
The Monroe County teams are covering for first responders who’ve been on the go non-stop for days in the worst of weather conditions and over Christmas.
Our local crews are expecting to be in the Buffalo area for at least the next 3-4 days. There is a sense of urgency to get as much snow cleared as soon as possible because rain is expected at the end of the week and there is concern about major run-off and flooding.
State and military police were sent out on Tuesday to keep people off Buffalo’s roads.
Even as suburban roads and most major highways in the area reopened, Erie County’s executive warned that police would be stationed at entrances to Buffalo and at most major intersections because some drivers were disobeying the city’s ban on travel.