Orleans County issues travel ban, declares state of emergency

Photos by Tom Rivers: A car heads north of Main Street in Albion at about 1:40 p.m. in near white-out conditions.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 December 2022 at 1:59 pm

A state of emergency and travel ban have been issued in Orleans County due to the blizzard conditions with punishing winds, icy roads and whiteout conditions.

Lynne Johnson, chairwoman of the Orleans County Legislature, made the declaration for the state of emergency at noon.

No motorists should be on the roads except for plows, utility crews, fire department vehicles, EMS, law enforcement and hospital staff.

Johnson made the decision on the travel band and state of emergency after consulting with Sheriff Chris Bourke, Emergency Management Director Justin Niederhofer, County DPW Commissioner John Papponetti and County Chief Administrative Officer Jack Welch.

The traffic lights also are out on Maple Ridge Road between Route 63 and Salt Works Road, and a portion of Route 31 is currently closed between Mathes Road and East Barre Road while a multi-car accident is being cleared.

A blizzard warning started at 7 a.m. and remains in effect until 7 a.m. on Sunday for Orleans, Niagara, Erie and Genesee counties.

The National Weaher Service in Buffalo said winds could gust as high as 65 to 75 miles per hour today and tonight.

The blizzard conditions will last into Saturday night, with the wind chills as cold as 10 to 20 below 0.

Genesee, Niagara and Erie counties also have issued travel bans due to severe weather conditions.

This vehicle turns from Main Street to State Street in Albion this afternoon. At least one busy intersection in Medina doesn’t have working traffic lights due to a power outage.