'Absurd abuse of power': Mark Poloncarz slammed for travel ban as Erie County braces for snowstorm
ERIE COUNTY, NEW YORK: Erie County has changed the travel ban to a travel advisory for Grand Island, City of Tonawanda, Town of Tonawanda, Clarence, Newstead, and Amherst, effective immediately. Meanwhile, a travel ban remains in effect for the towns south of downtown Buffalo, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced on social media. He declared a State of Emergency at 8 pm, which is still in effect for all of Erie County as of 6 am Friday. The restrictions have led to considerable Twitter backlash.
In anticipation of the lake effect snowstorm, travel advisories are also in effect for a part of the New York State Thruway. New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency in upstate New York on Wednesday. The State of Emergency is currently in effect, with lake effect snow predicted to affect sections of upstate New York until Sunday, WGRZ reported.
The New York State Thruway (I-90) is currently closed to commercial traffic from exit 46 (Rochester I-390) to the Pennsylvania border. All commercial vehicles on the Thruway traveling east must depart at exit 61 (Ripley - Shortman Rd), WGRZ reported.
What's closed and canceled
The Friday closures were initially announced by Buffalo Public Schools, and most educational institutions remain closed. On Fridays, the Erie County Clerk's office is closed. Friday and Saturday are off-limits to all auto bureaus. A number of other businesses, offices, and government buildings will stay closed on Friday in the towns of West Seneca and Cheektowaga. The market's Save A Lot will be open from 8 am to 7 pm, even though Broadway Market will be closed on Friday, as reported by WIBV.
The Buffalo Niagara International Airport canceled almost all of its flights. The events Turnstile concert at Town Ballroom, Ancient Aliens Live at Shea's, Habib Koite, and Bamada at Kleinhans were canceled on Thursday. A Drag Queen Christmas at Shea's happening on Saturday was canceled too, as reported by WIBV.
A social media user wrote on Twitter, "Due to the imminent storm, a State of Emergency has been declared for Erie County. A Driving Ban will be in effect for ALL of Erie County as of 9 p.m. Only those authorized for emergency travel are to drive. We will reevaluate the location of the Driving Ban tomorrow morning."
Due to the imminent storm, a State of Emergency has been declared for Erie County.— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) November 18, 2022
A Driving Ban will be in effect for ALL of Erie County as of 9 PM. Only those authorized for emergency travel are to drive.
We will reevaluate the location of the Driving Ban tomorrow morning. pic.twitter.com/7PIK7m1tmO
Another user wrote, "This is an emergency? Mark Polondork … power hungry fraud."
This is an emergency? Mark Polondork … power hungry fraud.— jimmy One More (@JimmyOneMore) November 18, 2022
Slamming the restrictions, someone else wrote, "This is an absurd abuse of power. A complete travel ban across the county us unnecessary And irresponsible." Another questioned the logic behind the ban and said, "Why? I don’t see an emergency. This is Buffalo and it snows sometimes. Declaring an emergency before any snow hits the ground?!?"
This is an absurd abuse of power. A complete travel ban across the county us unnecessary And irresponsible.— chet1028 (@chet1028) November 18, 2022
Why? I don’t see an emergency. This is Buffalo and it snows sometimes. Declaring an emergency before any snow hits the ground?!?— Joe (@JeffScalp) November 18, 2022
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