On Nov. 17, 2014, we had no idea what we were in for: back-to-back lake-effect blasts that buried parts of Western New York under snowfall measured in feet, not inches, and closed area roadways for days on end. Even by Buffalo’s standards, it was momentous.
Here, The Buffalo News recounts the major events of that fateful week in November. Further down, you'll find highlights from The News' coverage of the storm.
100 memorable images from the November storms: News photographers were in the thick of the storm from start to finish.
Buffalo News staff members reflect on their memories of covering of the November storms.
Six months after the storm, News photographers recreated some iconic images shot during the storm. It's easier to appreciate how much snow fell when you can look at the photos side by side. See images from Day One, Day Two and Day Three.
"It was just silent for hours": Karen Rossi's experience during the November storms
is the stuff of nightmares. Her car got stuck in a snowbank in Lancaster, then buried by snow. For 13 hours, she was trapped
in her blue Chevy Cobalt. “It felt like I was underground, buried in a casket,” she told The News' Dale Anderson days later.
“It was surreal. It was just silent for hours. Nobody came. And my phone had died."
Karen Rossi's story had a happy ending. The same, tragically, cannot be said for Donald J. Abate and David M. Deneke.
Abate, 46, was on his way home to Blasdell from his job as an officer at the federal detention facility in Batavia when his customary route became impassable just after midnight Tuesday. His vehicle got stuck in a ditch. He called his family and called 911 for help, but to no avail: By the time troopers got to her husband's Kia, he had died.
Deneke, 51, of Depew, spent days in his white Chevrolet Cavalier. As the snowstorm persisted, Deneke stayed with his car, calling for a tow truck and for police. He talked to his mother, too, but she lost contact with him after his cellphone battery died Tuesday afternoon. Police, spurred to search for him by a concerned family member, found his body about 6:30 a.m. Friday in his auto, buried under snow on Innsbruck Drive near Union Road.