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Regional News

Cuomo stops in Buffalo to meet with officials, region braces for more snow

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Trucks were stuck in the snow along the New York State Thruway.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the devastating lake effect snow that has struck the Buffalo area this week an historic event.

The governor traveled to Buffalo to meet with local officials and see snow removal operations on the New York State Thruway. The Buffalo area found itself buried under nearly six feet of snow, and the storm has been blamed for up to eight deaths in western New York. The snow fell so fast it trapped more than 100 vehicles on the Thruway.

Cuomo said Wednesday afternoon that all trapped travelers had been removed from their cars, and that the state should have immediately blocked every entrance to the Thruway, but also said citizen responsibility is partly to blame. The governor also said the storm has had a great budget impact on local governments and that the state would try to help.

"This is maybe more snow in one week than governments were expecting for the entire season," Cuomo said. "So they will have depleted their snow removal budget very early in the year."

Cuomo said he did not make any specific commitments to local officials.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer offered his condolences to the families of those who died in the devastating lake effect snow storm that hit the Buffalo region. The Democrat made his remarks in a conference call with reporters.

"My heart goes out to the families of the... people who died in Buffalo," Schumer said. "It's really sad."

The Buffalo Bills, who are scheduled to play a home game against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday, are also facing issues.

Workers are rushing to remove four feet of snow from the field before the game and the team has asked fans to help clear the stadium too. The team is willing to pay people $10 an hour and give them free tickets to the game for helping shovel snow from the stadium.

Cuomo is holding a conference at the Thruway Authority Facility in Cheektowaga this morning.