Byron Brown: No major changes for next year’s snow plan after recent storms

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo mayor Byron Brown said Thursday that there will be no major changes to next year’s city snow plan following the two recent snowstorms.

Two back-to-back storms earlier this month dumped several feet of snow on the city of Buffalo and Western New York.

Brown and the city had been previously criticized for the city’s response to the Christmas blizzard in 2022, which left dozens dead across the city.

The deadline for the city to submit a plan to the Buffalo Common Council for next year’s snow season is April 1. Brown said that there won’t be any major changes to the snow plan for this winter, citing an improvement in communication between Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, along with a “quicker response” in residential areas with snow being cleared.

“We planned together over the course of an entire year, so not only did the three governments plan individually, but we planned together over the course of the year, which is helpful,” Brown said. “We ramped up communication in every conceivable way.”

That included the use of emergency alert systems to cell phones in the area and getting critical information out the public before the storm began.

“We used so many more channels of communication this time,” Brown said. “The system gives the ability to push out messages to cell phones and mobile devices. That got information to a lot more people about storm conditions.”

Brown noted that one change that was made was putting information on the nine emergency warming shelters across the city out early. He said that around 100 residents used the shelters used the shelters.

Brown said that he will work with the Common Council this spring to ensure that the plan is the correct one, but thinks the city is in a better place when it comes to snow response.

“This plan is very comprehensive,” he said. “It deals with storms of different magnitudes, so normal snowfall, snowfall that might be considered historic, and blizzard-level snowfall, so I don’t think there are many changes we need to make.”

You can watch Thursday’s full Ask The Mayor segment with News 4’s Jacquie Walker in the video player above.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.

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