BATAVIA, N.Y (WROC) — Many truckers and other commercial drivers have been stuck at truck stops across Western New York for over 24 hours, and there’s no set time yet on when the Thruway will open. State Troopers remain positioned along I-90 ready to ticket anyone violating this closure.
By now truckers like Yethro Thaker were supposed to be done making a delivery in Buffalo and heading for Ohio. But now his whole weekend schedule has been thrown off.
“All of my next load is canceled because I was supposed to get my next load by now,” Thaker said. “And I’m stuck here basically.”
Since they’re unable to work, drivers had to get creative to pass the time away.
“I have a tv and I have Hulu so I sit and watch a lot of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon,” Jim Shroeder, who’s been stuck at the Flying J since 4:30 p.m. Thursday, told us. “And eat a lot of doughnuts and egg rolls from the Flying J.”
As you come through the truck stops in this area you get a real sense of the impact this weather is having on commercial travel. Every parking lot of the truck stops off the exit we’re at is filled. Some tell us the more time they spend here, the more money it costs them.
“For me, it’s two or three days of working and that will cost me about $1000,” Thaker stated.
Although schedule backups are annoying, Trooper Mark O’Donnell explained any driver heading west on I-90 is taking a dangerous risk and will pay a fine.
“I actually stopped and spoke to a couple of troopers on this roadway and they’re writing tickets,” Trooper O’Donnell explained. “And telling them to get off at the next exit and not to get on until we open up the Thruway until it’s safe.”
His colleagues out by Buffalo tell him conditions keep getting worse.
“The Buffalo Area, Niagara County, Erie County is getting bombed with snow,” Trooper O’Donnell added. “So, it’s imperative that there’s no unnecessary travel.”
There is no set timeline on when the Thruway could open back up to commercial traffic, but no matter what you drive, authorities urge you to stay under the speed limit and watch out for black ice.