Niagara Gazette — It wasn't a blizzard like the one predicted to hit Boston and other parts of the northeast coast, but the steady flow of snow that fell on Niagara Falls and surrounding areas certainly made for less than ideal conditions throughout the day Friday.
As the major winter storm dubbed "Nemo" by the Weather Channel arrived in the east, the Falls and other parts of Niagara County dealt with a heavy, persistent snowfall that started before sunrise and lasted through the day.
"Unfortunately, here we are again. It's a weekend again and we've got snow again," said Niagara Falls Department of Public Works Director Dave Kinney whose road crews have already been busier this year than they were all of 2012.
Kinney said he saw several accidents on his way to a morning radio talk show where he took to the airwaves at around 9 a.m. to encourage drivers to be patient, take it slow and give his plow drivers room to maneuver.
Falls police say they took steps to deal with the heavy snowfall by making use of all of the department's SUVs. The heavy-duty, four wheel drive vehicles are assigned to the Traffic Division, but those that are not being used by Traffic officers have been give to patrol officers to make sure they can navigate side streets and alleys.
"We need to be able to get around and we'll do whatever we have to," Superintendent Bryan DalPorto said.
DalPorto said by late afternoon there had been no major accidents or other problems created by the storm.
City firefighters also reported no significant storm related events.
Advice on being cautious wasn't enough to prevent motorists from running off the roads or into each other as they contended with slick conditions brought on by the heavy snow. Numerous motor vehicle accidents were reported throughout the day, which started with an accident involving a tractor trailer on the north Grand Island Bridge. The multi-car accident created a traffic snarl that blocked all northbound lanes to the Falls for about an hour. State police reported two minor injuries from the accident.