irma - The Buffalo News

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The prediction was meant as a well-intended joke. Last week, The Buffalo News teamed me up with photographer Robert Kirkham and sent us to Florida's Gulf Coast, the day after Hurricane Irma. An editor called me at home before we left. He said the area is beloved by many longtime Western New Yorkers. He was sure we'd meet plenty of men and women with Buffalo roots, affected…

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Doug Crowe found the place almost 30 years ago. He moved to Florida after he was laid off from a job in Niagara County, and a couple of hard winters reinforced his feeling that he needed to get out. He went to the Tampa area with a bag of clothes and a single trunk. Crowe started over. One day, he spotted a bar in St. Petersburg called Nickel City that offered Genesee C…

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NAPLES, Fla. – John Rementeria sent the email Thursday night, from his home. He is a retired New York City firefighter, decorated for bravery. He was standing near Trinity Church, in the shadow of the World Trade Center, when the north tower fell on Sept. 11, 2001. Rementeria lost 35 close friends, "good buddies," in the terrorist attacks that killed thousands. In the…

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BRADENTON, Fla. - Tammy Guayasamin-O'Dell decided to heed the warnings and evacuate. She reserved tickets for a flight to Buffalo. All she had to do was tap one more button on the keyboard. The tickets would be confirmed, and she'd be ready for a journey to Fredonia, her hometown, where she could safely wait out the fury of Hurricane Irma. She looked at the screen for a…

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PALMETTO, FLA. – Salliann Burgio, standing Thursday amid the aftermath of a hurricane, could describe the exact moment when she stepped away from a lifetime in Western New York. It was six or seven years ago, at a barbecue in the City of Tonawanda, not far from River Road. A friend introduced her to Butch Glasgow and Marie Belote, residents of Florida. Burgio, wh…

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DAPHNE, Ala. – Ross Hayes had no regrets about the choice. He and his wife, Camille, loaded up their Honda Accord last Friday with everything precious in their lives. Their son Seth and daughter Arabel squeezed into the small car, joined by a pit bull named Blitz, two kittens – Willow and Autumn – and a guinea pig called Elliott. Like Noah, in a tiny way, they fo…