Jan. 14—The travel ban for passenger and commercial vehicles in Erie County has been lifted in Grand Island, Tonawanda, Amherst, Clarence and Newstead.
Central Erie County and many Southtowns will remain under a full travel ban until further notice, and the Thruway remains closed to commercial traffic between Exit 46 and the Pennsylvania State Line. Drivers are advised to stay off the roads and avoid unnecessary travel.
There are no travel restrictions in Niagara County, with emergency officials urging drivers to use caution. “There are places in the county that got very little snow but others that got quite a bit. Plows from the various agencies are out trying to clean up what we have seen so far,” a message from the Niagara County Emergency Services Facebook read late Sunday morning.
New Yorkers in Western New York are being urged to stay home throughout the duration of the storm. Travel in impacted areas could be dangerous at times throughout the evening due to blizzard-like conditions.
“Our crews have been working around the clock to keep the roads clear and New Yorkers safe, and I am grateful that the vast majority of New Yorkers heeded our ban and stayed off the road,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “As conditions are improving int eh north towns we are lifting the travel ban there, but if you do not have to travel today, stay home and let our crews continue to work. If you are in central Erie County and much of the Southtowns, continue to stay home.”
Currently, there are 25,569 outages statewide, including 18,518 outages in the Mid-Hudson region, 90 in Western New York and 42 in the North Country. Utility crews have kept up with the level of power outages incurred to date, and remain on standby to restore any additional power outages if and when they occur.
The travel ban was lifted Sunday morning in the Towns of Collins, North Collins, Concord, Sardinia, Colden and Holland, as well as in the Villages of North Collins and Springville.
Heavy lake effect snow will continue off the eastern shores of both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario throughout Sunday, with snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches possible, as well as thundersnow in the heaviest parts of the bands. Winds will begin out of the southwest Sunday morning gusting at 35-40 mph and will increase to 40-50 mph this afternoon.
Tonight, snowfall rates are expected to remain at 2 to3 inches per hour in the heaviest bands, but wind gusts will diminish to 30 mph. In Western New York, the band is expected to oscillate near or just south of Buffalo for most of the night, while in the North Country, the band is expected to oscillate between the central Tug Hill plateau and Watertown. For a complete listing of weather alerts and forecasts, visit the National Weather Service website at https://alerts.weather.gov.