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Snow Storm On NYS Thruway Leaves Many Stranded

Volunteer firefighters help stranded motorists on the Thruway. (credit: CBS 2)

Volunteer firefighters help stranded motorists on the Thruway. (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBS 2) – An early snow storm that practically paralyzed several suburbs of Buffalo has New York State Thruway officials promising to review emergency procedures Friday, WIVB’s Michele McClintock reports.

Even though the area is used to heavy winter weather, some motorists were stranded on the Thruway for nearly 24 hours.

“I’ve seen snow three times in my entire life. This would be the third time,” Gary Cooper said.

McClintock caught up with two truckers from Florida who were so close to their exit Thursday night when they got stranded on the 90. “Four hundred is where I needed to get off to make my delivery,” said Eric White. “I am literally just right there.”

“Won’t be too much longer til we’re out of here hopefully,” Cooper said.

It took McClintock two hours to drive to meet Richard Cammack and bring him dinner. She was expecting to track him down on the Thruway, but he was able to get off near the 90-190 split by late afternoon. He was frustrated to say the least.

“From the official Thruway radio, it was saying traffic is heavy, it’s stop-and-go and we’d been stopped dead for six hours. Back on the Thruway, the plows are working overtime, clearing snow,” said Cammack.

The New York State Thruway Authority brought out the big plows, but they also had to bring in smaller plows as well to move in and out of vehicles to allow the traffic to move.

“It’s just too much snow in too short a time,” Bob Hill said. He’s donating his time and his plow. “Instead of trying to drag everything through deep snow, we’re pushing the snow back. The small machine works in tight areas.”

Volunteer fighters were also out helping those in need. “Taking people out in the cars that want to get out and just bringing water and granola bars is all we could carry, really” said Eric Dahlgren.

Andy Grabowski could see the plows inching closer to his car, which was stranded for over 20 hours. He said what he wanted to do once in the clear. “Shower and go to bed,” he said.

As for those truckers from Florida, they made it out safely.