ARLINGTON, Va. (Nov. 19, 2014) -- Members of the New York National Guard were out in force Wednesday in western New York, where snow had piled up to six feet in some areas.
"We are deploying the National Guard to ramp up efforts to keep western New York residents safe and to assist storm recovery efforts in any way possible," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "Travel bans and advisories remain in effect, and I urge drivers to stay off the roads so that our state agencies and the National Guard can assist those that need help."
About 240 Soldiers and Airmen were working Wednesday, and more are expected Thursday, Guard officials said.
Soldiers of the 152nd and 827th Engineer Companies will deploy eight front-end loaders, seven Bobcats, and 10 dump trucks to assist in snow removal operations as directed in Erie County, where hard-hit Buffalo is located.
Three front-end loaders were in action Tuesday night, and one loader aided the New York State Police and the New York State Thruway Authority in freeing a bus carrying the women's basketball team from Niagara University, which had been stranded.
A National Guard Initial Response Force of 20 Airmen and five Humvees from the 107th Airlift Wing, at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will deploy to assist in traffic control duties, while a second Initial Response Force from the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, in Rochester, will deploy 20 Soldiers and five Humvees to assist in snow removal at an assisted-living center in West Seneca.
Two more Initial Response Forces, totaling 40 personnel and 10 Humvees -- one from the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse and one from the 27th Brigade Combat Team -- were to mobilize and deploy Wednesday to the Buffalo area, to assist as needed.
The 174th was preparing to send two of its snow-blowing runway trucks out to Buffalo on Wednesday with two drivers in each vehicle.
Additionally, the National Guard is providing 35 Humvees with two Soldiers in each Humvee to assist in traffic control as directed by local officials from the Erie County Emergency Operations Center.
These troops, from the 53rd Troop Command elements based in Central New York, will mobilize Wednesday, and likely deploy to the region Thursday, officials said.
This will bring the New York force package in support of local authorities up to 310 by the end of the day Thursday.