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Coverage of Winter Storm Elliott: Friday and Saturday

By Howard B. Owens


We're starting our Day #2 coverage of Winter Storm Elliott in Genesee County.  This post will be anchored at the top of the home page until further notice.  For Friday's coverage, click here.

See also these stories we published Friday night:

Throughout the day, a persistent, large band of lake-effect snow stretching from Lake Erie to Alabama and Oakfield has hovered in place. As the satellite photo above shows, it's been pretty stationary and so far shows no signs of abating. The band is 15 miles wide.

The National Weather Service predicts that blizzard conditions will continue throughout the Niagara Frontier overnight. 

Dispatchers continue to report multiple motorists stranded in the northwest quadrant in the county with some occupants reporting hypothermia.  There have been several motorists rescued already, most taken to various warming shelters, a couple to UMMC for treatment.  

There are about 2,000 National Grid customers without power, and for most, no ETA on power restoration. 

There is a travel ban in effect for Genesee County and for the Thruway.

This post will be continuously updated, except for a break for sleep, until either the storm ends or we start a new post. While it is being actively updated, it will be anchored at the top of the home page.

UPDATE 12:37 a.m.: There is a convoy of emergency responders on Route 77 heading toward Route 33 retrieving people, and then they will proceed on Route 33.

UPDATE 12:41 a.m.: An emergency responder reports being stuck on Route 63, and another responder advises they can't get to him and advises they go to the Alabama Station #1.  "We're stuck well before that."

UPDATE 1:09 a.m.: An MRAP from Orleans County is now assisting with rescues.

UPDATE 1:50 a.m.: Tim Hens says that it's slow going trying to clear roads.  Judge Road is impassible, also Lewiston Road. The crews are trying Townline Road now.  The whiteout conditions are making the work impossible.

UPDATE 2:35 a.m.: Taking a break, or trying, to get some sleep.

UPDATE 9:04 a.m.: A convoy of rescue teams just completed going through Route 77 at Judge and is heading north.  There is also a rescue convoy operating around Sumner Road in Darien.


UPDATE 9:07 a.m.: The "Dollar" in Family Dollar in Eastown Plaza blew off overnight. (Reader submitted photo). Submit photos to or (585) 260-6970.

Also, Bethany's UTV is en route to Alabama to assist with rescue efforts.

UPDATE 9:12 a.m.: A rescue convoy has reached a group of cars in Alabama and are checking for occupants. A dispatcher asks for car descriptions "so we can clear some of these calls" and is told, "Some of the cars are buried in four or five feet or snow. We'll do our best.  Most people are telling us are in the Alabama Hotel, patrons are telling us."

UPDATE 9:19 a.m.: A fire police commander in Oakfield reports he's about two minutes from the Hall, and another chief is "taking over command and relieving me."

UPDATE 9:20 a.m.: A crew commander reports that there are about 100 people at the Alabama Hotel, and they all report they're doing well.  The convoy will try to head east and make it back to the Oakfield Fire Hall.

UPDATE 9:26 a.m.: A crew is heading east on Lewiston. The State Police from Orleans County is coming to the area with tracked vehicles. They will check north and west. There is also a crew heading to Macomber and Knowesville.

UPDATE 9:30 a.m.: East Pembroke chief says he has enough four-wheel vehicles to send to Alabama but doesn't have the manpower available to operate them. He's checking to see if there is enough manpower to deploy them.  The Indian Falls chief reports that the State Police have four tracked ATVs at his hall, ready to be deployed.

UPDATE 9:34 a.m.: For more reader-submitted photos, click here.

UPDATE 9:37 a.m.: A Darien crew is heading to Alabama to assist.

UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: All of the people are out of their vehicles from the Niagara County line to Alabama Center, a responder reports.  There's also a semi-trailer blocking Route 5.  A firefighter is checking an unknown odor at a residence on Lewiston Road.

UPDATE 10:51 a.m.: The travel ban for Genesee County will be partially lifted at noon.  Click here for more information.

UPDATE 11:07 a.m.: A crew is heading out toward Townline Road after leaving the fire hall. That crew is going out of service for while once it reaches its hall.

See also: Genesee Snopackers assisting with search and rescue efforts during storm

UPDATE 11:12 a.m.: "We're trying to stop cars at Route 77 and Ledge north because they keep trying to get through, and there is no place to put them."

UPDATE 11:16 a.m.: That odor at a residence on Lewiston Road; they had an issue with their furnace. The furnace has been shutdown. "They are good with electric heat."

UPDATE 11:25 a.m.: Multiple times last night and tonight, fire chiefs have been informed that Mercy EMS ambulances were not available. A dispatcher just informed a chief in Indian Falls that Mercy is not responding to calls outside of Batavia. Darien's ambulance is fully staffed and standing by for calls.

UPDATE 11:27 a.m.: Byron's ambulance is dispatched to Le Roy for a medical call.

UPDATE 11:38 a.m.: An Elba chief reports Route 98 at Townline and Edgerton is closed and impassible with five vehicles "stretched across the roadway."  Also, a crew is going to be sent to Indian Falls to stop traffic from coming north.

UPDATE 11:43 a.m.: There are no operators with the vehicles on Route 98.  A rep from Torrey Farms believes the operators are at the school.

UPDATE 12:53 p.m.: The last vehicle on Judge Road has been unstuck, and the driver is being sent to Indian Falls.  Resources are getting redeployed to Batavia. Route 77 north of Route 5 "is turning into a parking lot in some ways."

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: See also, County leaders counting blessings in midst of 'wicked storm'

UPDATE 1:12 p.m.: State of Emergency declared for the City of Batavia.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.: Alabama Fire paged for a replacement crew to respond to Station #1.

UPDATE 1:31 p.m.: See also, Weather-related closures and cancellations

UPDATE 1:42 p.m.: A crew is heading to the TA to pick up gas for a man currently at the Indian Falls Fire Hall.

UPDATE 2:48 p.m.:  Supplies are being taken to Indian Falls for Alabama and Pembroke. 

UPDATE 3:19 p.m.: Bethany Center Road is now open.

UPDATE 5:02 p.m.: National Grid reports 757 customers without power, down from more than 1,700 earlier today.

UPDATE 5:28 p.m.: Alabama Fire had a call but couldn't get to it because "Route 63 is unpassable for us."  So Oakfield is trying to try and respond from their side of 63.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.: Akron Road is also unpassable.

UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: See also, Winter Storm Elliott: update from Hochul

UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: Le Roy's UTV assignment to Oakfield is back in service.

UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: A crew has picked up "plenty of supplies" at City Fire and is heading back to that affected zone.  "Good. We'll have another mission when you get here," the assistant chief is told.

UPDATE 6:58 p.m.: Fire commanders are trying to keep as few emergency vehicles on the road as possible for call responses.  Route 77 is unpassiable. Mercy EMS has started responding to calls outside of Batavia but staging outside the snow-impacted area while firefighters respond to incidents.

UPDATE 7:19 p.m.: An emergency responder reports, "conditions are deteriorating out here again."

UPDATE 7:27 p.m.: An Alabama crew is on a medical call on Route 77 and needs assistance getting the patient out of the house.  It's been difficult to get additional help there.  An MRAP is responding to assist.

UPDATE 7:30 p.m.: Dispatchers are receiving calls that Route 77 at Route 5 is impassable because of all the tractor-trailers along the roadway. A Mercy medic in the area reports, there is one lane available for thru traffic, "but I wouldn't recommend it for future calls."

UPDATE 7:59 p.m.: A volunteer in Alabama has received a call from a Newstead firefighter stating that Erie County received a call from a woman with a child that has been trapped in a car at Tesnow and Wright roads since yesterday afternoon. Forest rangers in the area are going to offload their snowmobiles and head to that location, and bring the occupants back to the Indian Falls Fire Hall.

UPDATE 8:56 p.m.: There is a truck stuck on Clinton Street Road with two adults and a child.

UPDATE 10:04 p.m.  I'm not saying this is the last update to this post but it may very well be.  We're unsticking it from the top of the home page.  We will continue to provide coverage as news developes.

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