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Buffalo residents say they relied on each other to make it through the blizzard


People around Buffalo, N.Y., say they made it through the blizzard of recent days by relying on each other. They have even relied on each other's body heat. Annabel Padilla (ph) has two roommates and a cat.

ANNABEL PADILLA: Things in our house - oils, our soap - everything was frozen. Most of our water was frozen. You know, nothing was working. So we all had to sleep in one bed, every single blanket in the house, trying to keep the cat warm, ourselves warm.

INSKEEP: Padilla found a Facebook group called Blizzard in Buffalo and asked for help.

PADILLA: And in a matter of almost 5 minutes, I had almost five, 10 people commenting on it, trying to get us out of our house. And fortunately, this woman named Jennifer (ph) connected me with another woman named Meg (ph) that was our neighbor down the street. And she had an open apartment. And she let us go in and take refuge in her house.

INSKEEP: Padilla's mom is Bridget Thornton (ph).

BRIDGET THORNTON: We're all in a pretty miserable situation. But we're in it together. And so, you know, rather than making it worse by turning on each other, we - you know, we make it better by helping each other.

INSKEEP: Thornton says she and her neighbors have all been pitching in.

THORNTON: There's just a lot of people out with shovels, helping just random people get their cars unstuck, shovel their driveways. And then, you know, you move onto the next one.

INSKEEP: Cassidy Lechner (ph) is with the mutual aid group known as the Buffalo Snow Brigade.

CASSIDY LECHNER: You know, we'll ask the folks who are requesting, what do you need? Do you need salting? Do you need de-icing? Do you need your walkway, your porch, your driveway?

INSKEEP: All right. Now, Buffalo has lifted its ban on driving. But Lechner says the Buffalo Mutual Aid Network still needs donations to help people trapped inside.

LECHNER: So we can go and get groceries for people and bring them to their house, because a lot of people haven't been able to go out and get groceries.

INSKEEP: And the shoveling continues. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.