Erie County to revisit travel ban Monday; people urged to stay off the roads

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Erie County’s driving ban is in effect until at least 7 a.m. Monday, Erie County Executive Mark Polonkers said Sunday night.

Authorities will review the ban early Monday morning and will make an announcement by 6 a.m., he said at a briefing on Storm.

But the ban on driving for non-essential workers in Buffalo lifted on Monday as crews continue to work to clear a snowstorm that has left hundreds stranded and thousands losing heat. Polonkers said he was not expected to be.

Governor Kathy Hochul said late Sunday that officials want people to stay home for another 24 hours.

Travel bans were lifted early Sunday morning in Genesee and Niagara counties.

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office has announced that Niagara County, which includes the cities of Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda, will continue to enforce travel advisories.

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Genesee County has travel advisories.

Due to the ongoing difficult situation, drivers are urged to exercise “extreme caution” when choosing to drive.

Authorities are urging the public not to travel to areas where travel bans are in place. The situation outside is life threatening and emergency vehicles are stuck on the streets.

“Please stay off the road today. This is still a dangerous situation,” Amherst supervisor Brian Krupa said in a statement on Sunday. “Today is Christmas and we know you’ve been stuck in your current location for days, but in order to best assist the emergency response, please get off the road.”

Prohibition prohibits the movement of persons other than emergency responders. No unnecessary travel is advised under travel advisories.

The thruway remains closed to all traffic from Exit 46 to the Pennsylvania border. All I-190 and I-290 were also closed.

The Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston-Queenston Bridge have reopened, but the Peace Bridge remains closed to traffic to Canada, according to NITTEC.

These roads also remain closed, according to NITTEC.

• Route 219 from Peters Road, Ashford to Buffalo

• Route 400 from Interstate 90 in Western Seneca to Olean Road in Aurora.

• Route 5 from Interstate 190 in Buffalo to Big Tree Road in Hamburg.

• US 93 from US 5 to Tonawanda Creek Road in Newstead.

Strong winds and snowstorms have caused major winter storms in many US states, including Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wyoming.

News staff reporter Barb O’Brien contributed to this report.

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