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City crews start knocking down Central Terminal snow mound

The Central Terminal glacier is finally coming down.

Some eight months after the large white mountain was created from the crippling lake-effect snows of November, city crews have started knocking down the compacted snow pile they created.

“Our strategy has been to let Mother Nature run its course – melt down to where the surrounding area gets a little firmer, loses its water content, and is dry enough so we won’t make a total mess,” said Pubic Works Commissioner Steven J. Stepniak. “We said it would probably be July.”

Some 11,000 truckloads of snow were dumped along Memorial Drive, on the grounds of Central Terminal, during what turned out to be on the snowiest November many in Buffalo could remember.

At one time, the urban glacier stood nearly five stories high and was pristine white.

Over the months, the mound began to get dirty. But it stood its ground.

In recent weeks, Stepniak said, he’s been checking the mound, to see if it was time for his crews to start giving Mother Nature a hand.

When the local temperature reached 91 degrees Wednesday, topping the 90-degree mark for the first time in two years, the mound was just about ready.

Thursday, with the high temperature hitting 80, it was time.

“We thought it was the appropriate time,” Stepniak said.”We started knocking it down. We’ll level it off, spread it out, then let that dry. Then we’ll do a little more tomorrow, then grade it, top soil it,” he said.

Stepniak said he couldn’t predict when the mound will be completely knocked down, and the property leveled off and graded. “We’ll see how it melts,” he said, adding that eventually there will be no evidence that there was ever a snow pile there.

City crews, he noted, are experienced at the procedure.

“We’ve done this before,” he said, “at South Park in 2010.”