Buffalo Pols Finger-Pointing as Blizzard Death Toll Nears 40

Buffalo Pols Finger-Pointing as Blizzard Death Toll Nears 40

Two western New York leaders displayed frustration with each other as the death toll from a powerful blizzard approached 40.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, whose area includes Buffalo, blamed the city’s mayor for failing to have streets cleared quickly.

“The city, unfortunately, is the last one to be opened, and that shouldn’t be the case,” Poloncarz said at a Wednesday press briefing. “It’s embarrassing, to tell you the truth.

“I don’t want to see this anymore — I’m sick of it — I’m a city resident myself. I know the mayor’s not thrilled to hear it, but I don’t care anymore. I want it done.”

During a separate news conference, Mayor Byron Brown said Poloncarz’s remarks were the result of someone “feeling that pressure and crumbling a little but under it.”

“People have been working around the clock since the beginning of this storm,” Brown said. “You know, some people handle that pressure a lot differently. Some keep working. Some keep trying to help the residents of our community, and some break down and lash out.”

Brown was asked whether he thought he should resign over the death total, which includes 26 in Buffalo, and the public’s frustration.

“I don’t think I should resign,” Brown said. “Again, these were historic blizzard conditions.”

Poloncarz has been criticized for not banning motorists from county roads sooner than he did.

Hundreds of drivers became stranded on highways and smaller streets, and four of the 37 Erie County deaths attributed to the storm were found in their cars.

“I feel like there’s still more that could have been done,” Felicia Williamson, who runs a Buffalo day care, told The New York Times.

“If you were going to create a driving ban, you could have created a driving ban on Thursday to make people stay home.”

Poloncarz acknowledged the controversy on social media.

“As I said earlier today in response to whether the driving ban should have been instituted earlier, I do not know if it would have changed anything but it was my decision and I bear full responsibility,” he tweeted. “As JFK said, ‘victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan.'”

The blizzard, considered one of the area’s worst in recent memory, arrived on Dec. 23. The snow lasted about 36 hours and was accompanied by blinding winds.

Six days later, residents were still trying to dig out.

Many Buffalo residents were without heat, as utility crews struggled to fix substations encased in ice, the Times reported.


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Originally Posted on: https://www.newsmax.com/politics/buffalo-blizzard-politicians/2022/12/29/id/1102307
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