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Buffalo faces old problem in new year -- snow

Bush declares emergency in 2 counties

BUFFALO, New York (CNN) -- Dump trucks rolled out Tuesday to remove tons of snow from streets, as residents began the new year by digging more snow from a five-day storm that dumped about 7 feet of snow on the city.

"The problems is, in this case ... we have to actually remove the snow," said Joseph Giambra, the commission of public works for the city. "We can't plow it because it's higher than our plow blades."

Photo gallery: Buffalo snow 

Interactive: How "lake effect" snow forms 

He said city crews were using loaders and dump trucks to "pick the snow up and take it out of the neighborhoods."

Giambra said the snow, which began falling Christmas Eve, is being transported to a couple of dump sites throughout the city, including one on the waterfront.

City employees are working with crews contracted from other cities, including Toronto, Canada.

"These sites are pretty big right now and filled with snow a couple of hundred feet high," he said.

Federal aid is headed to the area after President Bush issued an emergency declaration Monday night for two countries: Erie, which includes the city of Buffalo; and Niagara.

The declaration means the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse local and state agencies for 75 percent of the total cost of snow removal during the first 48-hour period after the snowfall. The clean-up effort is expected to cost millions of dollars.

Schools are expected to remain closed all week because some streets are still not passable.

"We're praying for a more mild winter after this," Giambra said.


• Snow, ice leave at least 14 dead


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