As Western New York moved into cleanup mode Sunday following an historic lake-effect storm that dumped up to 77 inches of snow in parts of the region, Audacy “News Radio 930” WBEN continued the nonstop storm coverage it began Thursday evening. The station remained live and local for most of the weekend, airing multiple press conferences and briefings from local and state officials, school closings, warnings to residents and, yes, snowfall totals.
Speaking from the hard-hit suburb of Hamburg, New York Governor Kathy Hochul voiced concerns about potential building collapses from the heavy snow loads on rooftops. She also noted that roughly 70 tractor-trailers that violated the driving ban had been stranded on the New York State Thruway for 24 hours. Hochul said she is applying to the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the area, which would enable it to receive assistance from FEMA.
By Sunday morning, when the snow finally ended in much of the region. WBEN broadcast the snow totals. The big winners: Orchard Park, home to Highmark Stadium and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills (77 inches, as tall as 6’5” QB Josh Allen), Blasdell (65.0 inches), and Hamburg (61.0 inches).
On Saturday, host Joe Beamer explained for out-of-market listeners why some areas were dealing with chest high snow and others had far less.
Sunday’s press conferences with Erie county executive Mark Poloncarz touched on investigations into building structural failures from the snow. Poloncarz warned motorists to stay off clogged roads so crews could continue removal efforts. WEBN aired Monday’s school closings and spoke with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown about how the city is hauling snow out of areas buried by the storm, including South Buffalo and the Kaisertown neighborhood.
Beyond the using its broadcast signal, WBEN is dispensing vital info on its digital assets. “People need to be able to turn us on with whatever delivery mechanism they're using and get information and companionship,” Brand Manager Tim Wenger told Inside Radio on Friday. “Throughout the weekend people are going to be digging out and we're going to be on the air and continue with local coverage.”