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Central and Upstate NY counties hit by snow storm to get emergency assistance

Rick Penney uses a snow blower as the snow falls from the sky.
Calvin Milliner
Rick Penney uses a snow blower in downtown Syracuse as the snow continues to fall during a 2021 winter storm.

President Joe Biden has approved Gov. Kathy Hochul’s request for an emergency declaration after a winter storm buried parts of the state with nearly 7 feet of snow.

Eleven counties in the Buffalo and Rochester regions, parts of Central New York and the North Country were hit by the snow. The declaration means direct federal assistance is available, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is authorized to provide emergency protective measures, such as search and rescue operations.

FEMA can also take action to protect roads, bridges, water control facilities, utilities and mass transit. A state of emergency remains in effect in the 11 counties.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at