The first significant snow of the season tested Buffalo streets crews and their new commissioner, Nathan Marton, who faced “trial by fire,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, responding to complaints that some streets were impassable two days after the worst of the snow.
“I would have liked the first snow event of the year not to have been a massive, historic lake-effect storm,” Brown said at an afternoon news briefing.
“If you have a historic Mother Nature event with over 4 feet of snow in a densely populated area, I don’t know where people expect all that snow to go,” he said. “It has to be hauled out.”
Marton said 114 pieces of heavy equipment were at work in the hardest hit areas of south Buffalo on Monday, including bucket loaders that were scooping snow into dump trucks and driving it out of neighborhoods.
More snow fell overnight Sunday in some areas, but it stopped by daybreak Monday. “We are finally dry,” weather service meteorologist Liz Jurkowski said.
A driving ban had been lifted for most areas affected by the storm by Monday morning, but schools in Buffalo and nearby towns announced they would be closed through at least Tuesday.
The snowstorm was at least the worst in New York state since November 2014, when some communities south of Buffalo were hit with 7 feet (2.13 meters) of snow over the course of three days.
Jurkowski said official snowfall totals for this storm were still being tabulated Monday.