The October 2006 Thundersnow: 5 years later
blog by S.J. Velasquez • October 12, 2011 @ 9:12am
It was five years ago today that the crazy October storm suddenly descended upon Western New York, causing major power outages across the region and, subsequently, lots of day-drinking for people stuck inside their homes.
I only remember hearing stories in the days after the storm, as I was on a short backpacking trip in Ireland, completely oblivious to the disastrous weather back home. I’d been studying abroad in England for the fall semester of my senior year at Canisius College, and I’d gone to Dublin for a few days. I didn’t have a laptop or smartphone at the time—HA! Remember those days?—so my only access to the web was when I could stop by an internet cafe and obsess over every missed Facebook update. When my parents’ power resurfaced—they were lucky, as they weren’t without electricity for long—my mom sent me an email with all the details of the storm, telling how members of the extended family slept on floors for days until it was safe to return to their houses. I kind of wish I could’ve been home for this.
I asked some of my co-workers what they were up to when the October storm hit. Here are their responses:
Sam: “I was in Olean. We were fine down there. But then I felt bad as the days went on and people didn’t have electricity or heat. I watched it on tv.”
Chris: “I got the brunt of it. I went home at like 4 in the afternoon on Thursday [Oct. 12], watched a Lexus get crushed by a tree limb right across the street from Christ the King Church on Main Street (Amherst). When I got home, I watched the transformer in my backyard blow up after being struck by lightning. There’s still a burn mark in my grass that wont go away—it’s charred. I just packed up the kids and went to my mom’s house after the transformer blew up. I was without power for one week, without cable for 21 days.”
Ben T.: “I don’t even know where I was. I’m going to text my dad and ask him where i was.”
Ben K.: “I was living in Allentown, and just got a new cat, so I brought my cat outside to show it snow for the first time.”
Where were you for the October 2006 storm?
Photo by Liz Hoerl, from the I Survived the Thundersnow of October 2006 Facebook group photo album.