BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Mayor Bryon Brown joined News 4 at 5:30 for “Ask the Mayor.”

Brown addressed the Blizzard of ’22 clean-up efforts, precautions, looting and comments made by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz over his displeasure with the city’s clean-up efforts, for which he apologized for Thursday.

Mayor Brown said that he has no feud with Poloncarz and that the Erie County Executive contacted him personally.

“There was no back-and-forth,” said Mayor Brown. “I’m glad that he acknowledged that he was having a bad day and that he apologized to the community.”

Clean-up efforts of the blizzard have been underway, with every Buffalo city street seeing at least one pass of a plow, according to Mayor Brown, with 600 pieces of snow removing equipment on the ground Thursday.

“The clean up is going well,” said Mayor Brown. “In just two days of plowing, we have every street in the City of Buffalo opened up.”

While some parts of the community say they haven’t seen any plows or are seeing mounds of snow pile up, Mayor Brown said that a hauling operation has been underway to remove the snow.

For any snow removal concerns or help, community members are encouraged to call “311” or the Department of Public Works.

Despite the city having a snow action plan, Mayor Brown said that no amount of planning could have addressed the conditions brought on by the blizzard.

“There are people that said even if we had 200 more pieces of equipment, when we had blizzard conditions on Friday and Saturday, it would not have mattered,” said Mayor Brown. “Visibility was zero, rescuers trying to get to people trapped in cars, people on the street, people stranded in different places, couldn’t see and got disoriented themselves.”

Mayor Brown also addressed the timing of the driving ban, but also suggested some of the onus was on employers.

“Could the driving ban have been put in place earlier? Yes it could,” he said. “It went into place on Friday at 9:30. But could employers, seeing how bad it got, as quickly as it got bad, say to employees, ‘You’ve got to stay here, you’ve got to shelter in place.’ Some employers did do that, some did not.”

“People have to understand these were unique circumstances, it was an act of nature.”

With recent reports of looting, Mayor Brown also said that a number of stores fell victim to looting and dozens of individuals were involved, though he did not have an exact number.

The Buffalo Police Department has set up an anti-looting detail with 10 arrests already made as of Thursday. Mayor Brown said some store owners who fell victim to looting may not open their stores again.

Regarding New Year’s Eve, Brown said the City is thinking of going forward with the ball drop downtown.

Emily Miller is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2022. See more of her work here.