by Colin B
(editor’s note: this is an eye witness account from my brother, who’s a badass truck driver and Afghanistan war veteran out of Ohio. He was in the big storm in New York that dropped up to 63″ of snow yesterday and this is his account.)
Well, last night at about 1730-1800 I noticed a change of color on the road. The road changed from black to whitish, and I couldn’t tell wether it had dried or it was snow, and snow was falling but not quick. At that time I cut my jake break (air brakes on a semi truck) off, because you don’t want to be using that in slippery conditions.
Since I couldn’t tell wether the road had snow on it or not I played it safe. I decided to pull over at the Angola service plaza on I-90 in New York. I still had 3 hours of drive time left on my clock but decided to call it a night since my load didn’t deliver in Westfield, MA until Wednesday morning.
There was a little snow in the parking lot, but not enough to come even remotely close to being a concern. I went back to my sleeper, closed my curtains, watched some tv, called my wife, an then went to sleep around 2100.
I woke up Tuesday morning at 0700. I sat up and got dressed. Then I flipped my curtains open and saw nothing but white. My entire windshield was covered. The only thought that came to my head was, “uh oh.”
I started up my truck and went out and cleared my windshield. The snow at that point was about a foot and a half deep, on my parking lot anyway. As I sat there watching the interstate, I didn’t see a single vehicle pass by. That raised a concern, of course, because the northern interstates are notorious for being shut down. So I went back into the sleeper and turned on the weather channel to find out that the 90 is shut down from the PA border all the way through to Rochester. So I was stuck.
Watching the news throughout the day I found out that the snow is falling so quick and so fast in southern Buffalo that the plows aren’t keeping up. The snow was falling 4-5 inches an hour. The county had to request 400 snow plows and around a thousand operators. They literally had to start hauling the snow out of the area.
Motorists were trying to drive into and within the southern buffalo area, completely disregarding the weather alerts and driving bans, and getting stuck ending up having to abandon their vehicles. That became a huge problem as well, because with those abandon vehicles in the road the plows were unable to do their job. The county ended up having to bring in high lifts to literally lift the abandon vehicles off of the roadways in order for the plows to do their job.
The National Guard ended up having to deploy four different units to help gain control of the situation. So now here I am with the driving bans still in affect, and it is Tuesday night. The alert is still in affect till 0100 Thursday from what the news is saying. At the moment, whenever I have to go into the plaza for anything, I am wading through knee deep snow across the parking lot. In some spots I am wading through waist deep snow. This storm is still going on and is definitely one for the history books in southern Buffalo.