Our hearts continue to be with our fellow New Yorkers out west as they deal with the aftermath of one of the worst storms in state history, and we'd like to take a moment to thank our first responders.   As of this morning, as many as 30 people perished, and more bodies may be recovered.

Photo: Screengrab from NYSP
The ROOK picks up and moves stranded cars in Buffalo

Thankfully, there's no shortage of people willing to help, and this week we learned that many from the Capital Region made their way out to Buffalo for assistance.

On Tuesday, State Police in New York announced the deployment of a high-powered military-grade vehicle called the "ROOK" to assist in Buffalo where cars are still stranded. Many of the roads out in western New York look more like snow-covered mountains than they do streets, and with so many cars still stranded, the ROOK was ready for action.

"The ROOK is the perfect machine to clear vehicles or obstructions from the roadway, so they can be cleared by plows!"  NYSP Facebook

Photo: Screengrab from NYSP
High-powered and military-grade, the ROOK can be deployed for any number of emergency uses.

What is the ROOK and what it is used for?

State Police can use the ROOK for any number of things but it was designed for use in the event of barricaded suspects, riot scenes, natural disasters, or any critical incident. The ROOK can be equipped with special attachments that can be swapped out quickly.

In this case, State Police deployed the ROOK, with a "vehicle extraction tool" which acts as a pallet jack or a forklift.

"The tool can be used to push or pull a parked vehicle, pick up the car completely and move to a safe location, or be positioned to lift the rear wheels of an occupied vehicle to render it immobile" according to its makers. 

Photo: Screengrab from NYSP
Moves a stranded truck with ease

Watch as the $500K ROOK vehicle maneuvers and turns, drags, and pulls and makes light work out of cars or tankers in this viral video viewed over a million times.

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