Rochester area first responders help with search and rescue in Buffalo

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Video shows the Rochester Police Department out on snowmobiles helping with search and rescue efforts in Buffalo.

At least 28 people were found dead in the Buffalo area as of Monday night as a result of the blizzard. First responders from Rochester are working to rescue people.

There is no question that Mother Nature devastated Western New York.

This has been a very difficult and dangerous storm it’s been described as a once-in-a-generation storm and everything that has been forecast we have gotten in the city of Buffalo and then some,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

For several extended periods of time over the weekend, emergency responders simply couldn’t respond to emergencies and of course, there were consequences to that.

“Died in a car, died outside from exposure, died in a snow shovel or cardiac event regarding the snow blowing or found in a home,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

These pictures were taken in the suburb of Cheektowaga. You can see that many people were able to abandon their cars to get to safety but not everyone.

The Rochester Police Department sent 8 members of its scuba team to help search cars like this across the Buffalo area for those who may not have made it.

“That is not an easy thing to do our police officers are human it is painful to find members of your community that are deceased,” Mayor Brown said.

The other huge problem is getting around in a vehicle.

“There’s cars everywhere pointing in the wrong direction on roads they’ve basically been plowed in they need to be dug out and towed and it’s gonna take time to clear those,” Poloncarz said.

Rochester police aren’t the only ones helping out. Monroe County sent six storm emergency fire units to Erie County.

The Gates and Chili fire departments were both in Cheektowaga on Monday night, as part of the New York State mutual aid response to the blizzard.

They’ll be helping out for up to 72 hours. Crews also headed to the Buffalo area from the Brighton, Henrietta, Ridge Road and Lakeshore fire departments.