HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Snow removal crews are working tirelessly to remove the hundreds of cars scattered along main roads in Orchard Park, Hamburg, and neighboring towns. Erie County’s homeland security and emergency services commissioner Dan Neaverth Jr. referred to Milestrip Road, Blasdell, and nearby areas as ‘ground zero’ in a Saturday morning press conference.

It’s not just passenger cars stuck. Many problems are coming from tractor-trailers stuck in the snow and ice. Plows have struggled to get around the massive trucks. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says many drivers were trying to avoid the highway travel ban.

“Tractor-trailers were going on major routes that, normally, you would not see a tractor-trailer on,” he said. “Abbott Road, Lake Avenue, even Newton, and Abbott in Hamburg, which is a road that normally just cars are on.”

“They were trying to avoid the Thruway ban, but they were ignoring our driving ban anyways. So, we have to dig them out.”

Poloncarz says to be patient because they anticipate the cleanup will not be quick.

“It’s gonna take some time to dig out the neighborhoods. The National Guard is here, I talked with the Governor yesterday. She called in the national guardsmen and women, and they are actually working now to clean up Route 20 in Hamburg and Evans.”

By Saturday afternoon, Erie County leaders estimate more than 400 tickets were passed out to stuck drivers.

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Abby Fridmann is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in November 2020. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.