Niagara Gazette

February 9, 2013

Plowing through 'Nemo' in the Falls, Lewiston

by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — By the time Winter Storm Nemo produced its final snowflake, most of Niagara County was left covered in white Saturday.

Though Lockport and Gasport recorded the largest official totals in the county, Lewiston (14 inches), Youngstown (14.4) and Niagara Falls (13) were not spared.

Saturday was spent finishing up plowing efforts throughout the city and its suburbs, as crews hit the roads for follow-up passes. Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said salt and plow crews were on the roads all day Friday and through the afternoon Saturday dealing with the high snowfall total.

"We had about half a dozen salters and plows (Saturday afternoon)," Dyster said. "We had guys after working double shifts who had to go home and get some sleep. Most is done now, but we had a few streets which only got one pass or had a lot of cars on them. We also worked to reestablish curb lines on the main streets."

Dyster said the city was surprised snow fell for as long of a period as it did Friday. Crews were operating under the forecast of a 6 p.m. completion. But a band of lake enhanced snow coming off Lake Ontario kept the roads messy longer than anticipated.

Road work during storms like Friday’s is practically a refined science to the highway officials. In Lewiston, Highway Superintendent Doug Janese said plow crews have maximized efficiency through mapping routes to avoid double coverage.

But routes take about two hours to complete in his town. With snow falling Friday at a steady clip, 3 inches of snow would be on the road by the time a plow returned to an area.

"And that's if you're continually plowing," Janese said. "The reason we don't get around quick enough sometimes is salt. If we could refuel on the go, we'd be able to do it in 45-50 minutes. But the trucks can only carry so much salt. There's weight limits. Heading out to Sanborn, that's 15 minutes from the garage."

With the snow out of the region, Sunday's forecast appears to be both brightened and warmer. Temperatures are expected to be near 40 degrees with light winds. Sun should shine during the day until rain arrives in the evening.