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Central New Yorkers respond to plea for help from Buffalo

Jefferey T. Barnes
A snow removal truck clears snow off route 33 after a winter storm rolled through Western New York Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y.

As Buffalo struggles to clean up from the deadly winter blast that hit the city, central New Yorkers are responding to help.

Corey Dunham, the chief operating officer for the city of Syracuse, said it’s difficult to watch events unfolding in Buffalo. Dozens have been killed, countless cars were stranded, and many roads were left impassable.

"I just kept thinking about what it would look like in Syracuse and how fortunate we are that the winds just blew the other way, and we weren't in the same situation, because we absolutely could have been," said Dunham.

Dunham said Mayor Ben Walsh spoke with officials from New York state and the city of Buffalo to see how Syracuse could help. The Department of Public Works was able to send nine staff members, two pay loaders, and six dump trucks.

She said Syracuse is in a unique position to help because of recent investments in the fleet. The city has newer vehicles it can send to Buffalo, while also having enough left behind to handle any storms that hit Syracuse in the meantime. And she said the city’s workers definitely know how to handle snow.

"Obviously, just the skills, knowledge, and expertise of the snow warriors that we have down at DPW that every winter are dealing with the conditions that Syracuse throws at us in terms of snow and ice and wind,” said Dunham.

The Syracuse teams are expected to work alongside snow removal teams from other cities, the city of Buffalo, and the state of New York.

Oswego County is also sending help to Buffalo. Legislature Chairman James Weatherup said seven highway department employees, five 10-wheel dump trucks, and a payloader left Wednesday morning. That crew expects to stay in western New York through the end of the week.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.