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Although other places receive more snow, Buffalo has earned a reputation for the occasional severe snowstorm. Even though the residents of Buffalo and Erie County are accustomed to dealing with significant amounts of snow, a seven-foot snowfall presents an enormous challenge. By the afternoon of December 28, it was clear this was no longer a snowplowing effort--it became a snow-removal effort.
The magnitude of the snowstorm drew assistance from the National Guard, neighboring counties, even crews from Toronto, Canada. The EOC sent out road assessment teams on four-hour shifts with paper maps and color markers to record road conditions and to report back to the EOC.
EOC officials called the Erie County Office of Geographic Information Services to assemble a GIS operation at the EOC. Using the Streets Management System, GIS staff entered the NYSDOT assessment team data into the GIS and calculated the total miles of road in each category. To help the crews haul the snow away, locations of snow dumpsites were entered into ArcView. As damage reports came into the EOC from local emergency response officials, building locations were geocoded to display collapsed, damaged, or hazardous conditions (gas leaks, no heat, etc.). The infrastructure for an emergency GIS operation should be in place beforehand--While a permanent GIS reserved for emergency operations is not cost effective, lists should be maintained of what is needed and where items such as routers, cables, computers, plotters, printers, and even power strips are located. Standardized forms for collection of building conditions and guidelines with visual examples are necessary--This would ensure consistency of the data for the road and building assessment teams. CDs containing recent parcel information, local street data (suitable for geocoding and routing), and aerial photography should be made before an emergency--This would eliminate the need to hunt for data under pressure and save critical time. While the PDF files worked, an ArcIMS solution would have been better--At the time of this snowstorm, the Erie County Office of Geographic Information Services was creating an Internet Mapping Cooperative among local governments. Many were surprised at how quickly the staff could generate updated maps and how useful this information proved to be in the response effort.
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Lift Gate Services - When there isn't a loading dock at the origin or destination of your shipment, manual loading or unloading is necessary. The Gateway Project, a plan to build a high-speed railway corridor under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York, is back on. A day after Amtrak president Steven Gardner testified before the New Jersey Senate Legislative Oversight Committee about the railway’s outdated equipment and much-needed repairs, Senator Chuck Schumer proposed an updated tunnel as a solution. The Gateway Project was originally proposed in 2011 at a cost of $14 billion, after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thwarted a similar plan called Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) in 2010 over cost concerns. But on Monday, Schumer told an audience at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management that the project should be partially funded by creating a development group called Gateway Development Corporation.
Existing tunnels are over 100 years old, and were deteriorating for years before being further strained by Hurricane Sandy.
Though the original tunnel plan was priced at $14 billion, Schumer said that two new tunnels should be build and, with repairs to exisiting tunnels, the price could top $25 billion — a number that will continue to grow the longer the project takes to complete.

A planned right-of-way would run parallel to the current one between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station in Midtown.
With the addition of the new tunnels, The Gateway Project would more than double intercity rail service. According to Schumer, an agreement between the various offices is all that is needed to set up the Gateway Development Corporation. In partnership with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program awarded Princeton Hydro LLC a grant of $74,865 to design a sustainable shorelines demonstration project at Nyack Beach State Park in the village of Upper Nyack, Rockland County, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced. The purpose of the grant is to design improvements to the park’s shoreline, which is along the western shore of the Hudson River north of the Tappan Zee Bridge, to reduce erosion, improve habitat for aquatic species and enhance the recreational use of the park.
Posted on March 4, 2014 with tags awards, Dec, Demonstration, dredging, Grant, News, Project, Shorelines, sustainable, USA. The simulation facility will be available to SUNY Maritime College students as part of their program of study and to outside tug andbarge companies for employee training. While discussing the new Bouchard Tug and Barge Simulator, Admiral Carpenter said, “Our students will benefit greatly by having access to a state-of-the-art tug and barge simulation center.
Posted on July 30, 2013 with tags americas, Bouchard Transportation, center, funds, New, News by topic, simulation, Tug-barge, usa. Hamburg-based Hybrid Port Energy GmbH, a subsidiary of Becker Marine Systems GmbH & Co. I (re)invent apps, products & environments that solve specific problems with simplistic excellence.
Located at the northeast end of Lake Erie, Buffalo is a prime target for "lake effect" snow. When coupled with the local highway crews, there was a lot of equipment available--the problem was where to deploy it.
While NYSDOT typically uses a five-level rating system for evaluating highway conditions, the decision was made to use just three levels for this emergency. Within hours, the office moved three computers, a large-format plotter, and a printer to the EOC.
Just weeks preceding the snowstorm, the GIS Resource Group of D'Alba & Donovan GIS Consultants (Williamsville, New York), an Esri Business Partner, and Mark Harris of GeoSnap (Lackawanna, New York) developed a Streets Management System for the City of Buffalo.
This information was especially useful to out-of-town crews unfamiliar with the local streets. Access to experienced ArcView users, whether on staff, loaned, or volunteers, was essential. As this ArcIMS-based initiative takes shape over the next several months, it will become essential to the County's emergency response efforts.
According to Erie County Emergency Services Commissioner Michael Walters, "GIS was essential for helping to manage the various resources used in the response effort. Further evidence of the acceptance of GIS during this event were the lines of individuals waiting to request updated or special interest maps.
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Department of Transportation and transit agencies such as the Port Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and NJ Transit.
The designed improvements also will increase the property’s resiliency to sea-level rise, storm surges and wave action resulting from coastal storms.
The Center will offer full mission bridge simulators, instruction stations and a “de-briefing area,” where instructors can meet with their students to discuss navigation, seamanship and bridge resource management skills required in the operation of tugs and barges. As the prevailing winds cross the lake, they pick up moisture and dump snow when the frigid air comes ashore. GIS personnel from several local public agencies and private firms were brought in to the EOC, in some cases by the National Guard in Humvees. This ArcView extension allowed users to rapidly assign a status (open, closed, restricted) and an explanation (construction, parades, plowing, etc.) to selected streets.
With each update, NYSDOT, County, and City officials directed plow crews to the areas in need. The follow-up to any emergency is securing funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The lift gate is a motorized platform attached to the back of certain trucks and can raise and lower a shipment from the ground to the truck.
The new tug & barge simulator center will be funded by a gift of $750,000 provided by Bouchard Transportation Company Inc.
We are proud to be able to work with SUNY Maritime College on thecreation of the Bouchard Transportation Company Inc. On Christmas Eve, December 24, 2001, a classic lake effect storm pounded Buffalo and the surrounding communities.
Users could select individual street segments or draw polygons to select large groupings of segments.
This interaction between the ArcView application and road assessment teams continued 24 hours a day for the first five days. The resulting maps became part of the record reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
This storm broke records not only because of the amount of snow but also because it marked the first time Erie County utilized GIS for emergency response. Stranded students and many more stranded motorists would have seriously complicated a bad situation. The group modified the tool to accept the NYSDOT red, yellow, and green road status, and the GIS was operational. While not yet final, local officials have estimated the cost of the snowstorm in excess of $30 million. The County used GIS for tracking and communicating the status of street conditions and storm-damaged structures and to inventory snow-dumping locations, as well as maintain a map history of the response effort.
In Buffalo, more than 70 percent of the streets were either totally impassable or had only one lane open.

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