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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2008 Archives > December 2008 > Mayor Brown Calls For Comprehensive Snow Fighting Review

Mayor Brown Calls For Comprehensive Snow Fighting Review

Office of the Mayor
Peter K. Cutler
Director of Communications

Internal Review of City Response to Recent Record Snowfalls

Mayor Brown today announced that an internal review will take place immediately to provide a detailed analysis of the city’s recent snow fighting efforts in the wake of the historic snowfalls that took place on Friday, December 19th and Sunday, December 21st. A report will be published upon conclusion of the internal review.

“As we did immediately following the 2006 October Surprise storm, my Administration will conduct a thorough review of the recent snow fighting efforts in the city following the two record snow storms,” said Mayor Brown. “I have not been happy with the overall post-storm clean-up effort, particularly in our residential neighborhood side streets. We will examine every aspect of our snow fighting capabilities and review the strategies that were employed during and immediately following these record-setting snowstorms. From clearing our main streets and emergency routes to the city’s side streets and sidewalks, I want to speak directly with the supervisors and personnel who fought around the clock to keep the city functioning during what were very trying circumstances. I know that city residents were frustrated about side streets and sidewalks not being cleared in a timely manner and I want to look at every opportunity we have to correct whatever problems that might have occurred during the storm and post-storm clean-up efforts.”

Mayor Brown noted that several new storm-related assistance programs have been added over the past two years to the city’s storm response strategy, including the deployment of AmeriCorps personnel to provide shoveling assistance to senior citizens and handicapped residents with few financial resources; the use of the Mayor’s Junior Impact Team to clear NFTA bus shelters in the city’s commercial districts (or other bus shelter locations that have been called in to the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center); and the regular assignment of the Mayor’s Impact Team to twenty-five specific locations in the city that include sidewalks around viaducts, bridge overpasses and other high traffic locations (in addition to the 25 locations, the Impact Team are also sent to locations that have been called in by city residents to the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center).

In addition to these resources, the Mayor called for additional personnel from non-Public Works departments (e.g., the Buffalo Sewer Authority) to provide more manpower to the continuing clean-up effort. Further, Mayor Brown has directed the Commissioner of Public Works to bring in private contractors to supplement the overall snow clean-up effort.

“As we did successfully in 2006 following the October Surprise storm, I have directed that additional non-Public Works personnel and private contractors be brought in to supplement the work of our Public Works personnel. I will continue to look to best practices to improve every aspect of our city’s snow fighting response efforts and utilize the best technology available to strengthen our response during and immediately following snowstorms,” said Mayor Brown. “We have sixty-five pieces of snow fighting equipment (including 7 new plows and 3 new hi-lifts) and our goal is to install GPS tracking devices in all of them, so we can better monitor where the equipment is at every second of their deployment. We will then map out via computer systems those reports, so that we can determine if city resources should be redeployed to areas of the city that may be experiencing greater problems. We have very dedicated personnel who have distinguished themselves in past storm events, notably the 2006 October Surprise storm, but we also need to constantly upgrade and improve our technology to better serve our city’s residents and businesses.”

To handle the influx of calls coming into the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center, Mayor Brown directed that the Division of Citizen Services open the Center this past Sunday, December 21st and the Mayor joined additional personnel on Monday, December 22nd to staff phones in the recently upgraded Call and Resolution Center, which now handles all incoming calls through a new 311 non-emergency phone system.

Any city resident or business owner who has a concern about snow clearing operations anywhere in the city should call the Mayor’s Call and Resolution Center at 311. All information received at the Center is then transmitted to appropriate personnel for immediate action.