Austin Air is very proud to have our manufacturing facility and offices based in Buffalo, NY. Not only is it our pleasure to provide a high-quality product that is made in the USA, it’s also our pleasure to do so in a place nicknamed “The City of Good Neighbors”. And there is no better time to see Buffalonians living up to this than during inclement weather – something we’ve gotten more than our fair share of this week.
The predictions for bad weather started rolling in the weekend before any of the white stuff began to fly. Although they started to sound slightly more urgent by Monday morning, locals weren’t too fazed by the lake effect warnings.
In the end, no one could have predicted the amount of snow that was due to hammer the area. Nor could anyone have imagined how localized the storm would be until it actually started to fall. Tuesday morning found areas south and east of the city covered in snow – including South Buffalo, where Austin Air is located.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has christened it the “Winter Storm Knife,” because it has essentially cut the county in half. Even the National Guard has been called in to help.
One Austin Air employee reported that the National Guard plowed his street early on Wednesday morning but the same area was covered again by Thursday morning.
Austin Air VP Lauren McMillan is located in Orchard Park. Since Tuesday morning two trees have fallen in her yard, her power was out for almost twelve hours on Wednesday, and as of Thursday afternoon the snow was still coming.
Another member of the Austin family, who has lived in West Seneca since 1951, said that this was the worst snow he had ever seen.
With travel bans making it illegal to drive around our factory, and in the towns surrounding the area – we haven’t been able to open since Monday. Even if we could safely get to our location at 500 Elk Street, the interstate has been closed for over 100 miles north and south of the city, making any pick-ups or deliveries of Austin products impossible.
As the weather continues to make life tricky there are endless reports of neighbors checking in on each other, offering food and supplies to strangers, and goodwill generated through the shared struggles of living in the land of Lake Effect snow – a.k.a. The City of Good Neighbors. As of yet, none of our employees have reported any injuries related to the storm – but cabin fever may be setting in.
For now there is nothing we can do but sit tight and wait for the snow to quit falling and the proper authorities to clean up the mess. We aren’t the only ones impatiently kept from working – the Buffalo Bills have had to cancel practices and may have to reschedule Sunday’s home game altogether. We’re looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible and appreciate your patience as we muddle through this turbulent time.