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As blizzard rages and travel bans continue, officials plead with the … – Buffalo News

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Gates were closed Friday to the entrance of Route 219 in Springville.
A pedestrian gets a run in before the storm kicks in to full gear in Orchard Park, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.
Travel bans remain in place Saturday for Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties and parts of Genesee County as heavy winds and blowing snow created visibility problems for drivers, making travel virtually impossible.
Authorities urge the public not to travel in areas where a travel ban is in effect. Conditions outside are life-threatening and emergency vehicles have been getting stuck on the road.
We don’t know why, but DPW and law enforcement are reporting people are attempting to drive this morning, violating the Driving Ban, and are getting stuck, adding to the problems.
Unless you are emergency personnel responding to the blizzard, do not drive. It’s as simple as that.
“Unless you are emergency personnel responding to the blizzard, do not drive. It’s as simple as that,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said on Twitter Saturday morning.
Genesee County’s driving ban was still in effect for Batavia, Alabama, Oakfield, Elba, Pembroke, Darien and Alexander. A travel advisory was in place as of noon for rest of the county – Byron, Bergen, Bethany, LeRoy, Stafford and Pavilion.
A ban bars travel for anyone except emergency responders. Under a travel advisory, no unnecessary travel is advised.
The Thruway remains closed to all traffic from Exit 46 to the Pennsylvania state line. The entire I-190 and I-290 also has been shut down.
The countywide driving bans have been in place since Friday morning and Friday afternoon. Sections of some area highways were shut down to drivers who are not essential personnel early Friday as officials prepared for significant icing.
The Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge also closed to United States-bound traffic.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport has closed.
These roads also were closed as of 8:45 a.m. Saturday, according to NITTEC:
• Route 219 from Peters Road in Ashford to Buffalo
• Route 400 from I-90 in West Seneca to Olean Road in Aurora
• Route 5 from I-190 in Buffalo to Big Tree Road in Hamburg
• Route 93 from Route 5 to Tonawanda Creek Road in Newstead.
Strong winds and blowing snow create a massive winter storm in many states across the U.S. States that have been impacted are Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming and more.
The smart way to start your day. We sift through all the news to give you a concise, informative look at the top headlines and must-read stories every weekday.
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Gates were closed Friday to the entrance of Route 219 in Springville.
A pedestrian gets a run in before the storm kicks in to full gear in Orchard Park, Friday, Dec. 23, 2022.
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