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Tracking Wednesday's storm

5:40 p.m.: The slow-moving traffic continues on Route 5 heading out of Buffalo toward Lackawanna. At the base of the Skyway, traffic is moving about 10 mph.

A freezing precipitation is falling. The roads have a noticeably icy appearance.

Traffic was barely moving on South Park Avenue near Lake Avenue in Blasdell shortly after 6 this evening.

5:12 p.m.: There is especially heavy traffic coming off the Skyway on Route 5.


5:12 p.m.: On Route 5 you are limited to going about 20 mph because of the weather. It's very windy and there is about an inch or two of snow on the ground. You can barely see in front of you.

There is not a lot of traffic going into the city but there is a steady flow of traffic going out toward Hamburg. The roads are slick.


4:55 p.m.: As you head out of the city on Route 5 south, traffic begins to slow down around Ohio Street -- before that, it's smooth sailing. By the time you're at Ridge Road, the traffic is stop and go. Again, it often slows down around there at this time of day, but it's a slower go than usual as you start to experience blowing snow once you're into Lackawanna. If you're headed into the city from the Southtowns, the coast is clear on Route 5 north once you're past Lackawanna.


4:50 p.m.: It took about 20 minutes to get from the start of the 219 (just past the 400 on the westbound Thruway) to the Armor Duells exit. That's easily twice as long as it'd take under normal conditions. The roads are covered with snow, and the snow is coming down hard. Visibility is quite limited -- I could see four or five cars in front of me, but they were all pretty close. I was going about 25 to 30 mph. The snow is getting heavier the further south you go. As is to be expected, the conditions get much worse once you're off the expressways.


4:35 p.m.: The westbound Thruway was moving well near Route 400. Once I got on the 219, it was a different story. Right now I'm on Route 219 coming up on Milestrip Road in Orchard Park, and things are slow. It seems like the line of snow observed by my colleague, Joe Popiolkowski, extends all the way over into Orchard Park. I was fine on the 219 from the Thruway to Ridge Road (admittedly, not a long distance), but the snow picked up around the overpass near the Lackawanna tolls. That is making for a much slower go. I'm going to head south on the 219 a bit more, into the intensifying snow, and I'll have an update shortly. 


4:27 p.m.: Conditions on Route 5 are bad in Hamburg -- a few shades short of white-knuckle bad. In Lackawanna and points north along Route 5, conditions are slick but the visibility is much better. Right now I'm at the Excel gas station on Route 5 in Lackawanna. Traffic always starts to slow down on this stretch at this time of day, but it's quite slow in the southbound direction at the moment (about 5 to 10 mph). For those headed north, into the city, there are no considerable problems here.


4:20 p.m.: The skies are clear in North Tonawanda, where a light snow that covered the ground earlier has already melted.

Portions of Amherst were hit with a few inches of wet snow this morning, but the snowfall tapered off by early afternoon.

Roads in East Amherst this afternoon are clear. The morning's snow is now beginning to turn into puddles of water and slush in many yards.

--Denise Jewell Gee

4:12 p.m.: Elma and East Aurora seem to be stuck in a snow globe today, at least from this point of view. It took nearly 30 minutes to get from the East Aurora exit to the Union Road exit on the northbound 400 Expressway, but once you reach Union Road the conditions get significantly better. There is less snow on the road and as you near the I-90 the traffic is moving faster. Traffic volume on the southbound 400 has picked up though.


One of the handful of vehicles on the side of the northbound 400 Expressway.

4:01 p.m.: The freezing rain hail mix gets worse the further south you drive on Route 5. I just went past Athol Springs, St. Francis and Camp Road. Traffic is still moving at a good pace but the roads are getting worse. They're almost -- in my scientific wording -- "a mess." Here's a view of traffic heading south on Route 5 just after the intersection with Rogers.

-- JP

3:36 p.m.: Now the precipitation in Hamburg is more of a tiny hail or frozen rain consistency. Here is a view of what Route 5 looks like.

-- JP

3:22 p.m.: I didn't have to go very far to find out how the weather was affecting commutes. Before I got to the end of my driveway I found a couple whose pickup truck had gotten stuck when they were trying to turn around.

Traffic on the southbound 400 Expressway between the Jamison Road and East Aurora Exits was moving at about 30-35 mph just a few minutes ago. A police vehicle was pulled over near the Maple Road exit, where a car with front end damage was spun around and facing the opposite direction of traffic. The snow is still falling, and is making for slushy, slippery roads. 

--Lauren Nicole Mariacher

3:08 p.m.: I just drove south on Route 5 to Woodlawn Beach from downtown Buffalo. As soon as I entered Lackawanna, it was a total change from overcast and light snowfall in the city to moderate snowfall and high winds in Lackawanna. There's at least a couple inches of slushy snow accumulation on the ground here and the roads are slick. This area's getting hit pretty good -- just in time for rush hour.


2:30 p.m.: I'm here at the top of Buffalo's city hall with my camera pointed south looking at the Skyway and 190. It's cold and windy and I don't have a hat and gloves so I won't be up here long. The sun just poked out for a bit over Lake Erie and there's a light snowfall. But, of course, that's all supposed to change in a few hours.


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