The Blizzard that Buried Buffalo

The blizzard that buried Buffalo was a deadly storm that went on for five days from 28th January to 1st February 1977. It hit Buffalo and its surrounding areas and completely covered them with snow for weeks. State emergency was imposed in Buffalo by the government which restricted people from driving vehicles and advised them to not get out of their houses without any extreme necessity. National Guards were deployed at Buffalo to help with the removal of ice from vehicles and houses. 

It was concluded that the months prior the actual storm acted in the storm’s favor because previous two months or so witnessed a rapid decrease in temperature, and for the most time the temperature remained below average. Towards the end of December 1976 the snowfall accelerated, accumulating several inches of snow every day.  It was estimated that towards the end of January 1977 the snow depth in Buffalo had reached to an unprecedented 35 inches. Bitter cold, high winds, and flowing snow made the situation catastrophic.

Once the blizzard had started the visibility in Buffalo became zero; visibility remained that way for more than a day making life almost impossible to continue. People started to get terrified when lost visibility and death tolls reached to approximately 30. There were only a handful of fortunate ones who returned back safely in time during the blizzard. Most cars, regardless of their size, were buried under thick snow mountains and saw themselves in a deadlock position for days. People of Buffalo at first did not recognize the seriousness of the situation and therefore tried to continue with their daily routine. It was only when a state emergency was declared that petrified people and started a panic. The state’s National Guard and Department of Transportation was called in to rescue the people who had been stuck in the snow for hours or even days.

During the blizzard some humanitarian efforts were also made by the residents of Buffalo. Local restaurants, shops, and hotels, provided people shelter and food, and most often without any money incentive. The Salvation Army and the Red Cross constantly helped people throughout the blizzard. The blizzard in a bizarre way unified the Buffalo community and saw the spirit of charity all over. However, there were also incidents of some minorities trying to take advantage of the situation by looting and theft. The emergency conditions were lifted by Buffalo’s mayor on the 3rd of February 1977.