7 Year Anniversary This Week For a Snowstorm WNY Will Never Forget
Snow is nothing new to the people of Buffalo and Western New York. It's normal from November through March and we usually come prepared with plows, salt trucks, shovels, snow blowers, and the heaviest of winter jackets.
But nobody was prepared for the lake effect snowstorm that took place the week of November 17th.
Technically, this historic winter snowstorm took place the week of November 13th-21st, but it's major effects hit Western New York the evening of Monday, November 17th of 2014.
The lake effect snow buried the southtowns of Western New York, and the southern tier, dumping snow non-stop during Tuesday, November 18th. After a break in the storm on November 19th, it kicked back up again on Thursday, November 20th, before dissipating that evening.
I lived in Hamburg at the time and we measured 7 and a half feet of snow at our home by that Thursday evening. It was so much snow there was nowhere to put it and snow blowers were rendered useless.
Up in the northtowns and the City of Buffalo, they only saw a couple of inches to a dusting, which captivated the rest of the country and showed them how fine a line lake effect snow can be.
13 people died as a result of the storm and a travel ban was put in place for many areas in Southern Erie County. Snowplows didn't even plow roads at the height of the storm since you simply could not see anything. It was absolute madness.
Students who lived in the southtowns, that went to UB and Buffalo State, had to miss classes that entire week, because of the travel ban; even though the weather was (for the most part) fine in Amherst and Buffalo. Erie Community College's south campus canceled its classes that week and the following week (Thanksgiving).
The storm in Western New York was later called "Snowvember," and is something none of us will ever forget.
I remember shoveling the back patio because my dad and I were convinced it would collapse under the weight of seven feet of snow. Some roofs partially collapsed around Western New York because of the weight of the snow.
We also drove right down the road that Wednesday for supplies at the nearby Tops, and people were there with sleds to carry bread and water back to their home. It was something straight out of a movie.
Snowvember and the October Surprise Storm (2006) will go down in history in Western New York and I will always have the stories from those two "generational" snowstorms.