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City of Buffalo Press Releases

Posted on: June 2, 2023

Mayor Brown Announces Final Findings From New York University’s Dec. 2022 Blizzard Report

Seal of the City of Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown has announced the findings from the December 2022 blizzard assessment report completed by New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.

Immediately following the historic December blizzard Mayor Brown reached out to NYU requesting a study to examine the response to the blizzard in Western New York, where the city of Buffalo was the epicenter. The report called “Lessons Learned from the Buffalo Blizzard” offers suggestions as to what steps the city, and its partners can take to better manage serious winter storms and other weather events.

“These were extreme weather conditions. Our city bore the brunt of this historic blizzard. With the help of mutual aid from New York State and other municipalities, we were able to aggressively work to clear more than 50 inches of snow in just days,” said Mayor Brown. “In the days prior to the storm and after the storm, I’ve taken proactive steps to help ensure a better response for future storms. Asking NYU to conduct this report was one of the many actions that I have taken to improve the city’s response.”

Along with requesting the report, other measures initiated by Mayor Brown include the purchase of more snow fighting equipment, and the creation of new positions such as a Fleet Manager and an Emergency Operations Manager.

“I applaud Mayor Byron Brown for his initiative in reaching out and requesting this review and report from NYU Wagner School of Public Service. The level of transparency in this process and openness to receive recommendations is commendable,” said Dean Sherry Glied, New York University.

The mayor has also created a Storm Response Taskforce. The task force will include city, county, and state government representatives as well as representatives from National Grid, local businesses, and neighborhood associations.

Storm Response Taskforce Members:

  • City of Buffalo Department of Public Works Commissioner, Nathan Marton
  • Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner, Ramon Suarez
  • Buffalo Police Department, Captain Michael Palizay
  • City of Buffalo Planning & Analysis Community Services Commissioner, Otis Barker Sr.
  • City of Buffalo Citizen Services, Commissioner Oswaldo Mestre
  • City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown Communications & Community Relations Assistant Manager, Angelica Morrison
  • City of Buffalo Office of Mayor Brown Director of Policy, Deirdre Quain
  • Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner, Bill Geary
  • New York State Department of Transportation Regional Director of Operations, John Cogswell
  • New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • National Grid Regional Director, Ken Kujawa
  • Charter Communications Director of State Government Affairs, Lauren Kelly
  • Charter Communications Vice President of Operations, Mark Fitchett
  • Niagara Partnership President & CEO, Dottie Gallagher
  • Premiere Cigar Lounge owner, Robin Truesdale
  • Hertel Business Association, Judy Porto
  • Chippewa Alliance, Jay Manno
  • Hamlin Park Taxpayers Association, Stephanie Barbara-Geter
  • Board of Block Clubs President, Debbie Lombardo
  • Harbor House CEO, Nancy Singh
  • FeedMore WNY Chief Communications Officer, Colin Bishop
  • Chief Business Officer Martin Group,Matthew Davison 

Highlights of Recommendations Underway from the NYU Report

  • Physical Assets: The City of Buffalo has placed orders for additional snow removal equipment, and vehicles that can traverse winter terrain. The Common Council has approved the Mayor’s proposal to hire a Fleet Manager. Also, New York State has dedicated $10 million to the construction of a new DPW facility.
  • Public Communications: The Mayor and his staff have taken steps to expand the reach of emergency storm warnings through physical signage in public locations, alerting residents about upcoming weather conditions and warming center operations.
  • Equity: The City of Buffalo has secured state funding to help low-income East Buffalo homeowners become current on water, sewer and tax bills, as well as assisting with home repair costs.

Other recommendations include: working with private businesses to establish a notification system; and partnering with FEMA for a more robust emergency notification system called Wireless Emergency Alerts.

The city is also building on the success of its 311 efforts by developing and maintaining strong networks among residents, community groups and government resources for partnership during extreme weather events.

For more information about the NYU Survey visit

Find the full report here

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