Happy Anniversary to Surprise October Storm

October 12, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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October 12, 2011 Updated Oct 12, 2011 at 12:23 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Leonard Street in Buffalo was hit hard five years ago. The October storm buried the road, leaving the neighborhood changed forever.

"This street face a lot of damage we had about 30 trees down," resident Arneta Moreland said.

Resident Valeria Cray-Dihaan said the clean up was a community wide effort.

"All the people on the street chipped in to remove branches and make sure people got out and that elderly people were fine," Dihaan said.

Mayor Byron Brown said it was a valiant effort across the board.

"We were one of the fastest communities to get back and running and provide services for our residents. We used that blue print as a model to for response in the community," Brown said.

Dihaan said that the group worked so hard her husband fainted, do to exhaustion. An elderly man also had a heart attack trying kindly doing his part. Luckily, it was not life threatening.

Through it all many people are looking at the bright side.

"It could have been worse. Instead of trees splitting in two, it could have been houses splitting in two," resident Jerry Simpson said.

Dihaan agrees.

"This community became a family and everybody worked hard to make sure people were safe," Dihaan said.

Residents said they learned a lesson because of that storm and they have one piece of advice.

"Around September and October get prepared. Get your flashlights ready and food prepared, like can goods. Now we have space heater. Now, we have generator," Moreland said.

They said being prepared is a must in Western New York because there is no telling when old man winter will strike.