How the Buffalo Blizzard Affects Your Auto Transportation Services
The past week has seen some pretty heavy snowfall in the Buffalo, New York Metropolitan Area, with the principal city thereof receiving anywhere from 5-7 feet of snow over the past few days. This type of snow isn’t necessarily uncommon in Buffalo, but the amount of snow this winter has already led to Buffalo being declared an emergency zone, and evacuations have already begun, Day After Tomorrow style. 70 inches have fallen, with 60 of those coming before Wednesday. Though temperatures are expected to warm, and rains will be coming to help the snow melt, how it’s still going to take time to get all that snow cleared up – and likely there will be more to come as winter drags on. So what does this mean if you’re shipping a vehicle into or out of the Buffalo metro area?
Well, it means you’re likely going to be waiting a while. Auto transportation companies are leery about driving through snowy areas as is – it’s dangerous, especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cargo on the back of their truck. But when it comes to moving through seven feet of snow in some areas, and you’re asking them to do something that’s next to impossible. We’re not kidding – transportation has ground to a halt and some people have been stuck in their homes since Monday. As one resident put it: “This is Western New York; we’re used to it. But this is the worst I’ve ever seen. Even worse than the Blizzard of ’77.” That’s saying something.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared the Buffalo area in a state of emergency, and rescue crews from as far away as Long Island are heading to the area to dig residents out. Even professional sports leagues are feeling it – the Jets-Bills game, slated to be played Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, has been rescheduled to Monday night and relocated to Ford Field in Detroit. Ralph Wilson Stadium, inexplicably an outdoor stadium in a city that routinely receives feet of snow during the season, is currently buried under at least five feet of it. But even if the stadium were covered, there would be no way that fans could even get to the stadium, the roads are that bad. Well, non-existent, at least with all the snow.
This is another problem – even if a carrier were to try to get into the area, there’s no way they’d be able to tell where they were going. And considering the entire area is under a state of emergency, there’s little chance that they’d be able to get into the area anyway. Any carriers that had loads slated to go into Buffalo will likely have to adjust their route and have those vehicles delivered at a later date. This is the only practical solution, and one that many will take. If you’re shipping out of Buffalo, you’re in for a wait, to say the least, but once the snow thaws it’s likely going to take moving your vehicle out a ways to get a carrier to pick it up. They don’t like the snow, after all.
Not only that, but after the snows thaw you can bet prices to and from the entire Western New York region will be higher, because less carriers are going to be willing to run those routes with the risk of getting stuck or not being able to pickup/drop off a load. Right now, there is literally nothing that anyone can do short of getting a shovel out and clearing snow off of streets in Buffalo, and there’s plenty of people working on it now. But we’re talking about a metropolitan area that spans 1,500 square miles, all covered in snow so deep it’s claimed ten lives so far. Ten people. That’s another reason car shippers aren’t going there – they could literally die doing it.
Our hearts go out to the people trapped in Buffalo, but it’s only snow – it’ll melt eventually, and it’s supposed to warm up and start melting over the next few days. This may cause problems with infrastructure, as the rains will create some seriously hazardous slush, which will likely be there for a while, but you can expect the roads to open up soon. Until then, keep an eye on your local weather stations or the Weather Channel, and just keep in mind that right now all shipments into and out of the Buffalo area are postponed until further notice. If you have a vehicle on a truck bound for Buffalo, expect longer wait times, but you shouldn’t see any price hikes so long as your vehicle is on the truck. If you’re looking to ship into or out of Buffalo, you have quite a wait ahead of you, unfortunately.
Note: Image above courtesy of wn.com