Town of Tonawanda supervisor: “We dodged a bullet”

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – As South Buffalo, the Southtowns and parts of the Southern Tier try to dig out from the winter storm, areas to the north of Buffalo have been left relatively unscathed, so far.

Town of Tonawanda Joe Emminger said: “we dodged a bullet.”

But, according to the forecast, the storm is expected to shift to Southern Erie County Friday then pass through the Northtowns and Niagara County Friday night into Saturday, before losing strength.

In the Town of Amherst, there’s plenty of salt on standby. On Friday, plow truck drivers were pre-treating the roads. The town didn’t get a whole lot of snow overnight, so crews they are pretty fresh. They have been sent home for the afternoon and early evening hours, they will return back to the town highway department depending on the weather and they’re going to be getting right to work. It takes about several hours to make one pass in the Town of Amherst.

There will be about 100 plow truck driver personnel out there and even though many of the plow truck drivers in the town are experienced it can still take a toll on your body.

“They take their jobs very seriously, but like anybody else, it’s hard on their body, it’s hard work, to be up those hours and you have a big piece of machinery that can be dangerous if you hit something,” said Dominic Creamer, general crew chief in the Town of Amherst.

According to town officials, plow truck drivers will be working the overnight shift well into the morning and that will be overtime.

“We try not to have the guys longer than 12 hours, but we keep going until the roads are clean if we have to then, we’ll send some people home bring in other guys extra drivers to pick up where they left off to get the roads open, our job is to get the roads open,” Creamer said.

Prior to the snowstorm, Amherst was very busy collecting leaves.

Meanwhile, in the Town of Tonawanda, crews tell us that once the snow starts to fly they will be ready, they will be hitting the roads once that starts to happen. The town says they have 16 plows ready to go to hit town roads and take care of the roads overnight.

On Friday, we saw crews making some minor repairs to some of their plow fleet. And, the town just this week, got an early Christmas gift a new bucket loader that has an adjustable blade at the end to take care of dead ends and roundabouts in the town.

“Yes, we purchased the new bucket loader now that we have these roundabouts in the town our larger trucks can’t go through it that easily,” said Brian Fittry, the deputy highway superintendent in the Town of Tonawanda.

Meanwhile, schools in the Northtowns and across WNY will be busy clearing snow over the weekend.

“Our facilities teams will be out there making sure we have clear paths for our students and our families to access the buildings come Monday,” said Dr. Darren Brown-Hall, the superintendent of Williamsville Schools.

News 4 will be monitoring conditions overnight.

Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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