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If you have no reason to be out, stay in.

That’s the message from Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz who was hunkered down Tuesday afternoon in the Emergency Operations Center at the Erie County Fire Training Academy off Broadway in Cheektowaga.

“We’re telling folks: if you don’t need to be outside, don’t go outside,” he said.

“First off, the state of emergency still exists in Erie County. It is not a county-wide driving ban. Just a recommendation for no unnecessary travel county-wide,” he added.

However many municipalities including Buffalo and Cheektowaga have issued driving bans.

They are being enforced.

Whiteout conditions were apparent in downtown Buffalo and throughout the length of Broadway midday today. Few cars were observed on the roads this morning. Those that were traveled at a snail’s pace to cope with the near whiteout conditions.

The emergency operations center serves as the nerve center for the county during emergency situations. It’s here where the county’s officials, ranging from sheriff’s deputies, State Police, members of the Department of Transportation and others coordinate their efforts. They reach out to emergency managers of municipalities and figure out how to get critical resources where they need to go.

Poloncarz called the blizzard “a serious situation and we’re trying to address it as best we can. But when you’re dealing with Mother Nature you’ve got to take your punches. This was not just a one-two punch, but a one-two-three punch.”

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com