For many in the US, the weather over the weekend of Christmas Day, 2022, was unpleasant. But for the worst-hit areas, it was life-threatening, with the onslaught causing emergencies that first responders couldn’t get to, because of snow-filled streets. In some places, the roads were closed to non-essential traffic, but that didn’t rescue the people stuck in their cars. In the state of New York, regional and municipal governments had to rely on alternative transportation instead, calling for snowmobilers to help.
In the city of Buffalo, which was one of the areas hit hardest by snow, the Northern Erie Sno Seekers snowmobile club says members rescued people from dangerous situations throughout the storm. Along the way, they also delivered nurses to work at the hospital. The club’s trail groomer proved particularly useful here, bashing through drifts to pick up and drop off people where needed. See a local news report of the situation here and here.
The Southtowns Snowmobile Club also provided assistance in Buffalo, along with State Police and the National Guard, and the city did have a few sleds of its own to help out—but conditions in the storm made navigation very difficult at times, and city leaders said having more snowmobiles might not have helped at those points.
Other municipalities also asked snowmobilers for assistance. In Lackawanna, municipal police out out a call for help from snow machines; the WNY Snowmobile Club of Boston helped out in Seneca, and the Shawnee Sno Chiefs club along with other private citizens assisted officials in Niagara County. Of course, this doesn’t include all the private citizens who aided their neighbors in the storm.
The lesson from all this? Next time you see a major snowstorm on the horizon, make sure you’ve got some extra gas on-hand. You might need it for your generator, and you might even be able to use it to help out the people of your community with your snowmobile.