Buffalo Bucks the Bad Weather Rap
Buffalo has spent generations trying to beat back its bad weather reputation.
A hotel guidebook in the western New York city shows sailboats out on the water on a sunny day, with a headline that reads: “This is the Buffalo you don’t see on the Weather Channel.”
But that is not the image people generally have of the city. Highmark Stadium, home to the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, about 12 miles south, had wind gusts so heavy at a Thursday night game in early December that the visiting New England Patriots threw only three passes.
“Younger people—and I’m talking about the 40-and-under crowd with younger children—are very concerned about coastal living, hurricanes, storm surge, these kinds of events. They are looking at areas that I would call ‘climate safe,’” said Alan Rubin, a principal at Blank Rome Government Relations and co-leader of its severe weather emergency recovery team.
“A place like Buffalo has its winter, but it’s never a storm-surge environment. When you look at economies of scale, they are sort of nicer places to live than Miami or [Los Angeles], or New Orleans or Houston,” Rubin said.
“It used to be up and down the east coast, but places like the Carolinas, Hilton Head, are becoming more dangerous places to live.”
New initiatives include LEED streetlights. Older housing stock, meanwhile, makes the city ripe for climate-sensitive retrofitting, Blank Rome’s Rubin said.
“The architectural industry is monitoring that, things like reframing and LEED lights. The housing costs are less, so more money can go into fixing homes.”
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“Buffalo Bucks the Bad Weather Rap,” by Paul Burton, was published in The Bond Buyer on December 30, 2021.