Over the holiday weekend, a powerful and relentless snowstorm devasted Buffalo, New York, causing the deaths of more than 30 people.
The New York Post reported that, on Saturday, William Clay was found frozen to death in the snow on his 56th birthday, according to his family. City officials said he represented the third snowstorm death in Eerie County.
From the Post:
Clay’s sister Sophie Clay posted on Facebook early Saturday morning that her brother was missing, adding that he regularly frequented the nearby 7 Eleven.
Hours later, she revealed he was found dead and set up a GoFundMe to cover his funeral expenses.
“I am the sister of the gentleman that lost his life during the 2022 Blizzard on 12/24/2022,” she wrote on the fundraising page.
“My brother unexpectedly lost his life on his Birthday,” she added.
Another relative, Laura LaShomb, informed friends and family on family on Facebook that Clay was “found frozen” after he “went to the store.”
LaShomb also said Clay suffered from mental illness and may have not been on his medication. At any rate, according to Sophie, he lived less than a mile from where his body was found.
Meanwhile, the stepmother of 22-year-old Buffalo student nurse Anndel Taylor, who died in her car after she got caught in the storm trying to get home from her Friday shift at Absolut Care of Aurora Park, told the Post that Taylor, like Clay, was just minutes away from home when her vehicle got stuck in the snow.
“They said they were prepared for this storm but they were not prepared for this storm,” said Taylor’s stepmom Laneesha Smith. “So many lives probably could have been saved if they put the travel ban in the night before.”
More from the Post:
The Charlotte, North Carolina native was found in the car without a pulse on Saturday and family members had to retrieve her body themselves on Sunday night after responders failed to reach her.
Smith said that after Taylor had called them and told them she was stuck on Friday afternoon, she and her son tried to dig out their vehicles to go and get her.
“We just could not dig it out,” Smith said of the snowfall. “It was like as soon as we dig one spot out, the next spot is just covered.”
Meanwhile, Smith said Taylor futilely called 911 multiple times: “They just kept telling her they would try to get to her, they would try to get to her.”
Taylor’s family members were calling anybody and everybody they could to try to get to her. But nobody was available to help.
Family members believe she died of carbon monoxide poisoning after snow piled above her exhaust pipe.
Certainly, snowplow drivers and 911 responders who were out in the storm saving lives or at least attempting to rescue people from the snow should be commended for their efforts. Of course, an audio clip that has been making the rounds on Twitter reportedly shows that even a massive life-threatening storm that people are tragically dying in wasn’t enough to quell the racism of unidentified men believed to be snowplow drivers serving the Buffalo area.
“Lot of freaking refugees on this street, Jesus!” a man can be heard saying in the clip before another voice can be heard saying, “Yeah you’d think I live in freaking Africa or something.”
According to CBS News, a driving ban remains in effect, and state and military police were sent to the city on Tuesday to keep people off of the roads, which are still saturated with snow.
Be safe out there, folks. And be kind to each other at this time.