Tonawanda News

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January 6, 2014

Ken-Ton driving ban announced

Tonawanda News — Now it's our turn. 

As the blizzard of 2014 settled in over the Southtowns much of the overnight, a band has moved north, prompting driving bans and states of emergency to be declared in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda Tuesday afternoon.

Visibility is 1/4-mile or less — sometimes far less — across much of the area. 

"It really started deteriorating. I've been out in the town, and this morning, the roads were clear," Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana said. "A few hours later, with the drifting, whiteouts and extremely bad visibility, we thought we'd do the state of emergency to keep people off the roads."

Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang said police patrol cars began reporting whiteout conditions in the afternoon, which led to the travel advisory in the village. 

"We waited, but as time went on, things got worse," he said. "Most people are abiding by the ban and trying to stay off the streets, which gives us a lot of opportunity to plow."

Ken-Ton is on the northern end of the band with much of the Twin Cities to the north avoiding the heaviest snow but relegated to the driving winds, more than 30 mph sustained with gusts as high as 50, as of now. The National Weather Service said the northern band is expected to travel back south after nightfall offering Ken-Ton residents a reprieve.

"We're hoping to lift the advisory later tonight or tomorrow morning as it moves south," Caruana said. "We'll keep on eye on it, but now, we just want everyone to stay safe."

In addition to the Ken-Ton driving ban, the length of I-190 from the Youngmann south to the mainline Thruway has been closed. The Thruway has been closed since Monday night from Lackawanna south to the Pennsylvania line; it has also been closed from I-390 in Rochester to Depew, more than 100 miles of the 90 in all.

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