CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WNY News Now) – Thousands of Western New Yorkers are still stuck at home amid a deadly, record breaking and once in a lifetime winter storm.
We’re hearing directly from residents in the Queen city, living through this historic blizzard.
Cheektowaga resident, and WNY News Now Intern, Kelly Ackerman is among the tens of thousands now trying to dig out.
“The storm hit really fast on Friday morning,“ explained Ackerman. “I went into Walmart at seven, by the time we came out at eight, it was full blizzard. Almost whiteout conditions immediately. It was really just the wind that really drove this into what it was.”
From November through April, snowstorms are just a part of life in WNY, but this one caught many off guard..
“We just had a blizzard a couple weeks ago, and it was bad, but it was not this bad,“ stated Ackerman. “So, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us didn’t prepare as much as we should. Not knowing that this was going to be as detrimental as it was.”
At one point, Ackerman did lose power for a few hours, which pales in comparison to what others are experiencing.
“We lost power here for about five hours,“ explained Ackerman. “But I have friends that, in the city, that still don’t have power, that haven’t had it since Friday. So, it’s really a difference of five minutes’ drive between people that haven’t had power for four days and those of us that we’re lucky enough to lose it for a few hours.”
When heating vents are blocked by snow, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. This was a top concern for Ackerman.
“The first thing I did was check my carbon monoxide detector to make sure it was working, and it was,“ stated Ackerman. “But, one of my friends actually did have to leave her house because her carbon monoxide detector was going off.”
Even now in the Buffalo area, many are still stuck at home.
“You’ll have one street that seems fine and is plowed, and then you’ll come to another street that is completely a dead end, you cannot go that way,” explained Ackerman.
Right now Ackerman is stuck at home, with a snow covered street and car battery dead due to the frigid cold weather. She hopes to finally dig out as temperatures warm up later this week.