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Volunteers dig out their stranded neighbors

Posted at 7:35 AM, Nov 22, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-17 07:19:55-05

The snow has finally stopped, and groups in South Buffalo and the South Towns are joining forces to help clear snow from homes as a flood threat looms.

The Facebook group WNY November Storm Help has over 6,000 members, with people both requesting aid and several plow companies and local folks offering plow and roof-clearing services.

PHOTOS | Images capture the true "one Buffalo" spirit in the City of Good Neighbors

The Shovel Brigade Mob began clearing out South Buffalo residents in need at 9 a.m. The bridge is a small army of nearly 200 volunteers who, armed with shovels and snowblowers, worked to help dig out others from some of the hardest hit areas.

"I had about 3 or 4 inches at my house, and I have friends and family who had 3 or 4 feet. So I had a free day, let's do it," volunteer Charlie Fashana said.

"The people of South Buffalo need help, and we're all here to help. We're from Buffalo, we're Buffalonians, and we come to help," volunteer Mark Worrell added.

And helping get to those in need, including the elderly, those with medical conditions, or those who couldn't get out of their homes like Jamell Turner.

"It's great man, it's like a miracle," snowed in Jamell Turner said.

Even local officials joined in. Congressman Brian Higgins and Senator Tim Kennedy joined volunteers at the Old First Ward Community Center to help dig out parts of South Buffalo that remain immobilized.

"This is a vintage 1977 shovel from Tim Kennedy's garage," Higgins joked.

Kennedy will meet with residents impacted by the storm, as well as first responders still working tirelessly to clear and reopen streets and neighborhoods overwhelmed with snow. This cleanup is crucial, as the county prepares for potential flooding this weekend when temperatures are expected to rise. 

"Let's do our thing. This is the City of Good Neighbors for a reason, because of the unprecedented turnout today, we're showing just that," Tim Kennedy said.

Nearly all the organizers and volunteers calling upon Buffalo's nickname in this post-storm cleanup effort, the "City of Good Neighbors," and putting those words into action.

For those not in South Buffalo, the group Suburb Shovel Crews! also met at 9 a.m. and started clearing the towns of Hamburg, Lackawanna, West Seneca and Cheektowaga.

Cleanup efforts continue throughout Buffalo, with Mayor Bryon Brown claiming that over 95 percent of the city's streets were open.