The storm that has stranded motorists on a western New York highway is far from the first to do so. Some other examples in recent years of many motorists being stranded on the same highway during a snowstorm:
DOWNTOWN CHICAGO, 2011
A fierce snowstorm caught between 900 and 1,500 vehicles in a traffic jam on Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive, stranding hundreds of people for as long as 12 hours. By the time the sun came up, three lanes of cars cluttered the road with snow reaching as high as the windshields. Some motorists came away angry, frustrated and puzzled at why the city didn't close the crucial thoroughfare earlier.
A snow-swept Highway 402 near the Michigan border at one point played host to more than 300 stranded motorists, but officials said there were no reports of deaths or injuries during a long, frigid night. Officials said as many as a dozen of those trapped were airlifted to safety by military helicopters.
NEW YORK, 2009
Near the area where Tuesday's situation occurred, more than 100 people spent the night snowbound in cars and trucks on a closed stretch of New York State Thruway near the Pennsylvania border before being guided off the highway. Troopers, sheriff's deputies and officers from the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement used all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles to check on the stranded, topping off gas tanks and advising folks against trying to walk for help in gusting wind and snow.
A surprise storm that lashed San Diego County with rain and snow stranded as many as 500 motorists on a mountain freeway. The 27-mile stretch of Interstate 8, a main artery from California into Arizona, was reopened before dawn after a 12-hour shutdown because of blowing snow and ice that stopped hundreds of motorists in their tracks.