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Buffalo members weather record snowfall

Credit: AP
Credit: AP
Credit: AP

BUFFALO, N.Y.

Members living in the Buffalo, New York, area say family preparedness helped them make it through a recent band of extreme weather that brought record levels of snow and subsequent flooding.

There were no reports of death or life-threatening injuries to members or missionaries — and property damage to member homes and property was minimal.

“We have been absolutely blessed,” said Buffalo New York Stake President Nathan Pace. “The members have really pulled together and that’s been a beautiful thing.”

As much as 88 inches of snow — more than 7 feet — fell in parts of Buffalo, the USA Today reported. Several days of heavy snow was followed by a spike in temperatures, ushering in concern for flooding across the Great Lakes region.

President Pace said heavy snow is common in the Buffalo area. It’s expected and folks are generally prepared for the snowfall. “But I don’t think we’ve ever had 7 or 8 feet of snow in a day.”

Dozens of homes suffered severe roof damage and the heavy snows shut down many roads. There were reports of emptied shelves in local grocery stores. Even the Buffalo Bills football team had to cancel their Nov. 23 game on account of the weather.

But Latter-day Saints in the snowbound regions were not severely impacted by the weather extremes. President Pace said a few homes suffered minor structural damage and one Relief Society sister fell and broke her elbow.

A few wards did cancel their Sabbath Day meetings Nov. 23 because of massive amounts of snow in the meetinghouse parking lots.

Members relied on food storage and other emergency preparedness items on days of heavy snowfall. President Pace said the storms have served as frosty reminders of the importance of being ready for natural disasters and other trouble.

“We’ve found that you don’t worry much if are prepared,” he said.

Members have used the record storm as opportunities to serve others. When the recent snowfall began to lighten, teams of Aaronic Priesthood holders from the stake grabbed snow shovels and roof rakes and offered muscle and assistance to snowbound homeowners.

“We took care of our members and then we took care of the neighbors,” said President Pace.

jswensen@deseretnews.com @JNSwensen

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