BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amid this horrific storm, there are stories of hope and cries for help and desperation. Thousands lost power and are still in the dark Monday with no heat. Others were stuck in their cars trying to get home before the storm.
Ferocious wind, white out snow and frigid temperatures made conditions unbearable and dangerous during this historic storm. Latoya Smith says her family was stuck for two days without electricity or heat in their apartment.
“You lose touch to your fingers it was feeling as soon as you walk in and you can see your breath. The windows are frosted over,” Latoya Smith, a resident on Minnesota Avenue in Buffalo, said.
Smith says her apartment was freezing after it lost power on Friday afternoon. She says the hallways in her building were warmer than the apartments, so everyone gathered with blankets to ride out the storm there.
“We need help when something like this happens, they should be better prepared. You tell us not to leave, we don’t leave and then we die in our houses and in our apartment. They just need to be more prepared for something like this,” Smith added.
The Smith family made it out on Sunday afternoon. They walked one block to Main Street in Buffalo to seek help, but even that was extremely challenging.
“It was the hardest walk I ever did in my life. I collapsed at the end. I could not walk, I could not breathe,” Smith continued.
Cassandra Garmon is a pharmacy technician at Buffalo General Hospital. She left work in the early afternoon Friday trying to get home to her 13-year-old and four-year-old daughters. Her car got stuck on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo and she was there for almost 18 hours.
“At one point in time I’m like I do not want to die out here alone in the cold around the holidays. My kids are at home by themselves like it was it was a lot,” Garmon said.
She was finally rescued by snowmobile after she posted on Facebook, describing her situation. Garmon was taken to a nearby shelter, which she says also didn’t have electricity. After another post on social media, a good samaritan answered her call for help and brought her home to her daughters in Cheektowaga.
“That was the biggest relief I’ve ever felt in my life. When he told me I’m outside. I’m like, yes. Oh my goodness, I can finally get home to my kids,” Garmon added.
When she got home, her daughters were overwhelmed with joy.
“[Her oldest daughter] She hugged me so tight that she literally like squeeze the air out of me,” Garmon said.
Emotional cries for help are pouring in, including from Wendy M. whose daughter and grandchildren are stuck in their Buffalo home. Located in the suburbs, Wendy is unable to help her family who she says is in need of medical care and is freezing.
“I can’t get to them. I have no means of getting to them and knowing that I have grandchildren that I can’t get to, and my kids that I can’t get too. It literally tears you apart and you feel suffocating and helpless,” Wendy added.
For people who are still stuck, Wendy says this is a time to come together, rather than tear each other apart.
“Being friendly neighbor don’t loot, just try to help those people in need, you know this is a time where buffalo coming together and we reached out and we hold each other’s hands and we support and help each other,” Wendy added.
This storm will go in the record books, and it will never be forgotten by those who endured it, so desperate for help.