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10 years ago: October Surprise Snow Storm was forming

Posted at 11:34 AM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 18:30:39-04

It ended up being one of the most destructive storms to hit Western New York, but on this day ten years ago, people were still unaware of what they were in store for as the October Surprise Snow Storm was still forming over Lake Erie with dark, ominous clouds.

The storm ended up dumping two feet of heavy, wet snow of leaf-filled trees across Western New York.

It is estimated that 57,000 trees were damaged.

Falling branches destroyed the area's power supply knocking out electricity to around 400,000 people, some for over a week. The crisis resulted in FEMA responding and emergency declarations being issued.

Several people also died after being hit by falling branches.

For many, memories of the storm consist of living in darkened candle-lit homes with no sump pumps or heat as  crews from across the U.S. and Canada tried to work through mountains of broken limbs entangled in power lines.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Reilly dug through the CH7 archives to show pictures from ten years ago.  He also takes a look at the massive Re-Tree WNY effort with local municipalities to replace all the damaged trees - and you might be surprised, but that effort is still underway a decade later.