BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Among those working around the clock the past few days are the national guard members, stationed at the Connecticut Street armory on the city’s West Side. They’ve been responding to emergency calls since they were deployed.
In a press conference Wednesday, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the National Guard would be conducting wellness checks in neighborhoods that suffered extended power outages. Teams of four walked door-to-door in those neighborhoods, and will continue to do so over the next 48 hours to check on residents who are sick or facing other issues.
“We’re fearful that there are individuals who may have perished living alone, or two people not doing well in an establishment — especially those that still don’t have power,” Poloncarz said.
An official with the National Guard told News 4’s Marlee Tuskes they were making sure everyone was safe and had food and medication on hand. Check-ins are happening in the City of Buffalo, as well as the suburbs.
In addition, members of the National Guard will be making return calls to individuals who called Erie County’s 858-SNOW number to address any issues.
Meanwhile, the clean-up on the West Side continues — it seems like everywhere you look, there are uprooted trees or cars buried in snow. High-lifts were out working on plowing streets Wednesday. Among them were private contractors, who told News 4 they were making sure to clear enough snow for first responders.
“This is just a beast. This is a 950, we have about 10 other high lifts with us — 40 others were here from another company,” Michael Hannon, Jr. said. “These ones come from gravel pits, construction world, they can haul up to 40 tons.”
Many who were out trying to clear their driveways Wednesday said this is some of the heaviest snow they’ve dealt with. Buffalo firefighters were driving around the West Side making sure hydrants were clear of snow.
“I’m breaking my back right now,” Allentown resident Howarth Colon said. “It’s tough. Today’s Wednesday? Alright, so I’ve been digging out since Monday and I’ve gotten to this part. I do it in sections.”
Utility trucks were also out Wednesday, fixing lines and restoring power for those who have been left in the dark and cold.
For now, as crews continue to clear the streets, the travel ban remains in the City of Buffalo.
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