A friend and former colleague of mine reminded me tonight of an anniversary Buffalo will be celebrating this weekend. It will be ten years since the big November 20, 2000 storm on Saturday. Now that I know, I wonder how I ever forgot.
The day started out like any other day. I was reporting on the night shift and was heading to Canisius College around three o'clock in the afternoon to do a story on something that now escapes me. I do remember being with Channel 7 photographer, Patrick Parmenter, who is now working in Chicago.
As soon as we headed out, the snow began to fall. Right from the start, it was clear this was not your typical snowstorm. There was thunder and lightning, and the snow just kept coming. More than two feet in a record seven hours! We soon decided to forget Canisius and immediately turned around to head back to the station. That was easier said than done. The back-ups had already begun, and we would get as far as the M and T Bank building downtown and that was it.
So, we grabbed the camera, went inside the bank, and started interviewing all the employees still stuck at the office. The cafeteria help was cooking up whatever they had left, so workers could have dinner. We got a story out of it all, but ended up having to walk it back to the station. Our car couldn't get any closer.
After reporting all evening long, I ended up staying the night on the couch in the edit area, and woke early to report on the morning show. I wasn't all that tired, yet, just running on adrenaline.
After getting through the show, I was able to get a snowmobile ride to the Metro Rail that was about the only thing running and took the train to UB's South campus where my husband picked me up. I remember crashing into bed soon after that. Another crisis endured and survived. The typical life of a reporter!