Buffalo storm ‘heroes’: How 2 men saved dozens of lives during blizzard

Two men in the Buffalo area of ​​New York are being credited with saving dozens of lives after an intense and deadly winter storm left motorists and pedestrians with nowhere to go last weekend.

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In separate situations, Jay Withe and Craig Elston helped provide a warm spot for people to ride out the storm, and both are being hailed as heroes for their efforts.

Alston, owner of C & C Katz Barbershop in Buffalo, “was trying tosome haircutslast Friday morning before returning home to celebrate the holiday, The Buffalo News reports.


However, as he completed his duties, he realized the arctic weather conditions and a worsening blizzard made it unsafe for him and some of his customers to leave. Soon after, people started flocking to his shop in search of a place to take shelter.

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He jumped online and started watching news reports of people dying in the storm. So he turned to TikTok and Facebook to invite anyone in the area who needed emergency shelter to seek refuge with him.

“I see people dead on Facebook. My first instinct is I’ve got a building with heat and light, like a lot of people don’t have. Why not open my building To the public?” Alston told Insider. “I really just did it so people had somewhere to go.”

Meanwhile, Wythe finds himself low on fuel after being caught in a blizzard just east of Buffalo. He had left downtown Cheektowaga around 6 p.m. to help a stranded friend, but became trapped in the snow himself.

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He told NBC that he tried Knocking on the doors of 10 nearby housesResidents begged and offered $500 to let them sleep on his floor for the night, but were turned away each time.

Meanwhile, two other stranded people approached Wythe and he offered a place in his truck for them. Calling the police proved futile – they told Wythe that they were unable to save him due to the dangerous conditions.

Getting wet and low on fuel, he decided to leave his car and look for a safe place to say.

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He went to a nearby school and broke a window so he could get in. But instead of cowering down, he drove back into the storm in his truck to rescue two other people and find other trapped motorists.

Wythe told NBC, “My mission was just to go out and catch as many people as I could and just keep going.” “I just kept walking, and i walked till i cried And I couldn’t move on. I was just green.

As they welcomed more people to safety, the two men began gathering food and supplies to keep everyone comfortable.

Alston grabbed some money from the barbershop and sent the group to a nearby convenience store to buy Vienna sausages, hot dogs, pizza pockets, and bottled water. Wythe opened the school kitchen door to collect the food.

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Both men also made sure their groups were comfortable to stay. Wythe collected blankets from the school nurse’s office and gym mats, while Elston gave haircut hats to the guys to use as blankets when they slept in tilted barber chairs and on the floor.

Elston told Insider that 50 people came and went from their business over the weekend, until everyone is finally home by Tuesday evening. About 30 of them stayed the entire weekend, he said, while another 20 came to charge their phones, call their families and warm up.

“People are reaching out to me calling me a hero,” Elston told Insider. “And most of all I tell them I’m no hero. i’m just a human with a heart,

Wythe leaves a note at the school, apologizing for breaking the school window and breaking down the kitchen door.

The note began as a note shared by the Cheektowaga Police Department on Twitter on December 29 in an attempt to find a Good Samaritan, “To whomever it may concern, I am very sorry for breaking into the school window and kitchen ” “Stuck at 8 on a Friday night and fell asleep with two strangers in my truck just trying not to die.”

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“I had to do this to save everyone and get them shelter and food and a bathroom,” he wrote, explaining that there were elderly people who needed rescuing. He signed off the note with “Merry Christmas Jay”.

Hours later, police shared that they had located Wythe and expressed their gratitude for his “heroic actions”.

Police also shared a photo of the group spending the night at the school, saying they plan to meet again in the summer and be “like family”,

Wythe told CNN that he views this ordeal as a blessing in disguiseIf one of the houses from which he had been returned had taken him up on his pleas, he would not have been able to help the other two dozen whom he had rescued.

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