Cheektowaga under State of Emergency

CHEEKTOWAGA – Supervisor Diane Benczkowski has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Cheektowaga based upon the advice of town Emergency Coordinator Earl Loder.

“That will give us more power to do things if the need arises,” she tells Cheektowaga Chronicle.

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that the State of Emergency has been lifted effected 5 pm 1/31/19. Travel Advisory in place until Friday morning. Discussions will be held at 7 am.

The town’s volunteer fire departments have been put on storm standby meaning firefighters are manning their fire halls until further notice and are out in their districts ready to respond to emergency calls.

Cheektowaga Police say that there have been no significant incidents.

Non-emergency calls can contact the town’s Emergency Communication Center by calling 716-686-3507.   Emergency calls should still be made by calling 911.

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning affecting the town.  Additional snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches are expected through Thursday afternoon.  With them come high wind gusts and subzero wind chills.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Cheektowaga Wednesday morning.

“Snowfall is one thing.  Snowfall and high winds and subzero temperatures is a more complicated situation,” Mr. Cuomo said.  “We have lost lives in storms like this so when I say its nothing to be trifled with I want to make sure we’re doing everything we can because they are dangerous.”

The town is currently under a travel advisory imposed by Ms. Benczkowski, and Highway Superintendent Mark Wegner imposed a parking ban until further notice.

“We want the cars off the road so we can clear the roads quicker.  They’re a lot of roads in town and its harder to clear in zero visibility.  Our crews can get down the roads faster if the roads are clear,” Ms. Benczkowski said.

The town has been hesitant about imposing a travel ban for two reasons according to Ms. Benczkowski.

“We’re a first ring suburb and people need to get home through the Town of Cheektowaga, and our police would then need to spend time enforcing the travel ban when their time should be spent on emergency situations,” she said.  “I think we’ll be okay if everybody cooperates and does their job.  I think we’re going to get through this alright.”

She says highway workers were sent home at 5 pm Wednesday to rest up.  They were on the clock since midnight.

“[Mr. Wegner] sent them home to go and rest up to come back out at midnight because they’re only human and they need to rest in order to do their job – especially in these treacherous conditions,” she added.  “Right now I think our highway workers are handling the storm very well, especially this morning.  I think its the high winds that are going to cause the problems especially with the wind chill.”

Town government will be open Thursday, but many offices will have limited staffing.  The supervisor suggests holding any business until Friday.

Government related services closed Thursday:

  • Cheektowaga Courts – notices will be mailed to you with a new court date
  • Senior Center – including van service and lunch program
  • All Youth and Recreation Programs at Alexander Community Center and Meyers Recreation Center
  • Garbage and Recycling delayed until next week
  • Meals on Wheels
  • YES Program
  • Wee Three Program
  • Swim Lessons

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