Monster Blizzard in the USA
25 drivers spend Christmas in the supermarket
Suddenly it was just white all around. During the devastating winter storm in the USA, numerous people fled to a supermarket in a suburb of Buffalo, where they had to stay for two days.
These homes on the Canadian side of Lake Erie are almost entirely covered in ice and snow.
At least 68 people were killed across the United States after the snowstorm over Christmas. The north-east was hit particularly hard. Kathy Hochul (64), governor of New York, compares the situation in the city of Buffalo to a “war zone”. The forces expect that the death toll will continue to rise.
Despite a short-term travel ban, scores of people were outdoors last Friday when the blizzard swept through the region. Motorists lost their orientation in the face of the dense snow whirlpool. Some were totally snowed in. In Cheektowaga, a Buffalo suburb, around 25 motorists were forced to seek safety in a supermarket. Because the storm didn’t let up, they had to hold out there for two days – over Christmas of all days.
Target pays costs
Those affected have published numerous photos of the situation in the supermarket on social media. The pictures show people sleeping on air mattresses placed between clothes racks. Children locked in the shop play Uno and read books to keep themselves occupied. Jessica Sypniewski (33), who stayed in the Target discount store with her two children and her boyfriend, wrote on Facebook: “I’ve never been so scared in my life, but we are safe and warm.”
As the New York Post reports, Target is paying for all merchandise used by the stranded during their involuntary stay at the store. “I can’t thank the Target employees enough for opening their doors for us and providing us with everything we needed – you are literally lifesavers,” writes Sypniewski after the adventure is over.
Fatal blackout, carbon monoxide poisoning
Other Buffalo residents were less fortunate. Carolyn E.* († 63) was dependent on an oxygen machine when the power went out in her house. The rescue workers were unable to respond to emergency calls, her son told a local newspaper. The woman did not survive the blackout. “She fell into my arms and didn’t say a single word from then on.”
Shortly before her death: Anndel Taylor († 22) sent this video to her family(01:27)
Timothy M.* († 27) died because the snow covered the vent of his stove and poisonous carbon monoxide got into the house. Nurse Anndel T. († 22) was caught in the winter storm on her way home from work and locked in her car. Her body was found 18 hours later. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also suspected to be the cause of death.
Local authorities say they have prepared but the weather has been exceptional even for a region known for severe winter storms. Buffalo Democratic Mayor Byron Brown (64): “The city did everything it could do under historic snowstorm conditions.” In view of the now rising temperatures, the authorities warned of a thaw on Wednesday. As temperatures rise, snow is expected to melt and potential flooding is expected. (noo)
* Names known