Snow removal crews from Pennsylvania hit the road to help Buffalo
When the Buffalo Bills called Chuck Lantzman to help dig out Ralph Wilson Stadium, he loaded up his “Snow Dragon” at his North Side business and planned to head north on Friday.
“It’s myself and another person. We’ll probably be up there for the next five to six days. They’re talking about 16-hour shifts but more than likely it will be 24 hours,” said Lantzman, owner of Snow and Ice Management Co. in Manchester. “We’re taking the snow melter ‘Snow Dragon.’ We should be able to melt 20 to 25 tri-axle dump trucks’ (loads) within an hour.”
The National Football League said it was relocating Sunday’s Jets-Bills game from Buffalo to Detroit’s Ford Field.
Lantzman is among several Pennsylvanians helping to dig out the Buffalo area from record snowfall that smothered roads, cars and homes. Many motorists were stranded.
National Guardsmen drove nurses to work hospital shifts. State troopers helped elderly residents trapped in homes. New York officials assembled 463 plows, 129 loaders and 40 dump trucks from across the state.
Pennsylvania Turnpike officials said 20 employees, including equipment operators and mechanics, left Wednesday for New York with snow-removal equipment to help clear Interstate 90, the New York Thruway. They are scheduled to return Monday.
PennDOT sent drivers and four flatbed trailers to deliver the turnpike equipment. The team hauled nine trailers carrying five front-end loaders and five front-mounted snow blowers, plus one self-propelled, runway-type snow blower from Somerset.
PennDOT placed as many as 10 snow-removal crews on standby if New York authorities need more help.
New York will reimburse Pennsylvania for any costs, turnpike spokeswoman Renee Colborn said.
“Neighboring states help each other with natural disasters and situations in need,” Colborn said. “I’m sure they would do the same for us.”
The Associated Press contributed. Bobby Kerlik is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7886 or [email protected].