Sabres, Bills send support to city devastated by blizzard

Dec 29, 2022, 1:50 AM | Updated: 4:07 pm
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and tackle Spencer Brown (79) exhale before a successful ...

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and tackle Spencer Brown (79) exhale before a successful two-point attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

              Legend Excavating worker Garrett LaCross plows snow off Interstate 33 in Buffalo, N.Y., on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022. Clean up is currently under way after a blizzard hit four Western New York counties. (Joseph Cooke/The Buffalo News via AP)
            
              Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and tackle Spencer Brown (79) exhale before a successful two-point attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
            
              National guard members check on residents, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Buffalo N.Y., following a winter storm. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
            
              A city worker in a wheel loader clears snow on Norwood Avenue as crews work through the night to reopen the city after a deadly blizzard over the weekend, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
            
              Gamaliel Vega tries to dig out his car on Lafayette Avenue after he got stuck in a snowdrift about a block from home while trying to help rescue his cousin, who had lost power and heat with a baby at home across town during a blizzard in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)
            
              Three men walk down Richmond Avenue in whiteout conditions during a sustained blizzard in Buffalo, N.Y. on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The wallop of a two-day blizzard that struck Buffalo over the weekend and the sense of desperation that came with it hit home for Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams on Christmas Eve, when he trudged through the storm to check on his mother-in-law.

What is usually a 20-minute, round-trip walk became a two-plus-hour trek through snow-covered roads in frigid, windy conditions. Adams found his family member safe and sound.

Adams considered himself among the fortunate in the aftermath of the Friday and Saturday storm that dropped more than 4 feet of snow and paralyzed Buffalo, leaving at least 40 dead, some of whom were found stranded in homes, on streets and in cars. The death toll has surpassed that of the area’s notorious Blizzard of 1977.

“We had a house full of food and we were warm, and just watching what people were going through on the news, your heart goes out to them,” Adams said as the Sabres returned to action, hosting the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

“That’s where perspective comes into play. We get up every day and do this for a living, and you need to make sure you always remember how lucky we are,” Adams added. “What the first responders, essential workers, people were doing to even try to allow us to be here today was pretty remarkable.”

Sports took a backseat in Bills- and Sabres-mad Buffalo for much of the past four days. The teams resumed practice on Thursday.

The Sabres had two games postponed because of the blizzard, and had not held a formal practice since Dec. 22 before playing Detroit. The AFC-leading Bills, meantime, were off since a 35-13 win at Chicago on Saturday.

The blizzard affected the Bills’ travel schedule. The team was forced to stay overnight in Chicago following the game, before flying into nearby Rochester, New York. From there, they took busses for the 90-minute trip west to Buffalo on Sunday.

While the brunt of the storm had passed, the lengthy cleanup effort was only beginning, which led to linebacker A.J. Klein contributing what he called a very small part.

After a neighbor helped Klein clear his driveway, the two proceeded to do the same for everyone along their block.

“What I did was miniscule compared to what my neighborhood has done for me,” Klein said, noting how neighbors assisted in helping him shovel out last month when a lake-effect snowstorm forced the Bills to play their home game against Cleveland at Detroit.

He also said his neighbors paid him back once again by providing meals for three days because his refrigerator was empty and supermarkets closed.

“If I can shovel snow, I can shovel snow. But everybody helps everybody else. … That’s just the `City of Good Neighbors,'” he added, referring to Buffalo’s motto. “It’s heartbreaking to hear people that lost loves ones and people died of exposure. All I can say is hopefully everybody that’s been affected can work through it because I know it’s been tough.”

The Bills, through their foundation, stepped up by donating $100,000 to blizzard relief efforts. The NFL Foundation and one of the Bills main sponsors, Highmark BCBSWNY, matched the donation bringing the total to $300,000.

The Sabres followed by announcing their foundation is making a $50,000 donation.

“Obviously it’s very tragic. It’s extremely sad. It’s hard to find the right words to describe it,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “I know the Bills have donated money, and I want to help some way, somehow.”

With Buffalo’s streets reopened, the Sabres placed their focus on playing with no practice time. Players who live near the Sabres’ downtown arena and practice facility, got in some skating there during the break. Others living outside the city managed to get some ice time at a suburban rink.

In paying his condolences to those affected by the storm and putting aside the lack of practice time, coach Don Granato said the Sabres can play a role in rallying their city with how they play.

“The one known is rallying our guys because they do feel part of the community,” Granato said. “We’ve got lots of guys who lost power and went through it. And the guys that I talked to, they’re like, `We’re in this. This is part of being here. And we like it here.'”

Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt experienced one of most difficult journeys returning to Buffalo after spending Christmas with his family in Minnesota. He continued on with his plans in traveling to join the team in Columbus for their game against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. When the game was postponed, and with Buffalo’s airport closed, Mittelstadt rented a car to make the five-hour drive to Buffalo.

Mittelstadt had no complaints, knowing others had far more difficult experiences.

“There’s been a lot of sad stories and tough times, so you have to feel for those people, especially around the holidays,” Mittelstadt said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. You feel for the people that were really affected.”

___

Associated Press freelance writer Joe Yerdon contributed to this report.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL and AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Signage outside PayPal headquarters in San Jose, Calif., is pictured on March 10, 2015. PayP...
Associated Press

PayPal to cut 2,000 jobs in latest tech company cost-cutting

PayPal said Tuesday it will trim about 7% of its total workforce, or about 2,000 full-time workers
11 hours ago
FILE - Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, arrives at Federal ...
Associated Press

Cohen says DA took phones for renewed Trump hush-money probe

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s long-estranged former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, says Manhattan prosecutors recently took his cellphones to preserve evidence related to a hush-money payment he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in the waning weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. The payment to Daniels, which Cohen says was intended to buy […]
1 day ago
FILE - Nathan Chasing Horse attends the South Dakota premiere of the HBO film "Bury My Heart at Wou...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor to be charged with sex assault

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A former “Dances With Wolves” actor accused of leading a cult could be facing multiple felonies and life in prison after police said he sexually assaulted young Indigenous girls and took multiple wives during a period spanning two decades, court records show. As of Wednesday, Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse, who […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ex-ABC journalist charged with child pornography offense

A well-known former investigative journalist for ABC News has been arrested on a charge of “transporting” images depicting the sexual abuse of children, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. James Gordon Meek, 53, of Arlington, Virginia, was arrested Tuesday, months after his home was searched by federal authorities. Authorities found images of children engaged […]
1 day ago
This is a locator map for Afghanistan with its capital, Kabul. (AP Photo)...
Associated Press

Taliban asks Pakistan not to blame them for violence at home

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Afghanistan’s Taliban-appointed foreign minister Wednesday asked Pakistani authorities to look for the reasons behind militant violence in their country instead of blaming Afghanistan. The comments from Amir Khan Muttaqi came two days after Pakistani officials said the attackers who orchestrated Monday’s suicide bombing that killed 101 people in northwest Pakistan staged the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Qatar Airways, Airbus reach settlement in A350 legal case

LONDON (AP) — Qatar Airways and Airbus have reached a settlement in a longstanding legal dispute over the safety of the A350 jetliner and billions of orders for other planes. The companies said in a joint statement Wednesday that the settlement was “amicable and mutually agreeable.” “A repair project is now underway and both parties […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Sabres, Bills send support to city devastated by blizzard