The apocalyptic Christmas weekend blizzard that left millions of people without power and killed at least 50 across the United States turned into a golden opportunity for brutal looters.
They took ample advantage of it by ransacking stores in Buffalo, New York.
Social Media Videos Expose Blizzard Looting
Buffalo was among the locations worst affected by the mind-blowing winter storm.
Yet, even as its roads became impassable, due to the heavy snowfall in the wake of the arctic blast, the city suffered from another plague: unstoppable looters who managed to pillage shuttered stores, instead of staying at home for Christmas with their families, The Sun reported.
Although Buffalo’s streets were empty, the report reveals one of the looting incidents over the Christmas weekend was accompanied by a shooting.
A video posted on social media showed two looters coming out of a store in the dead of night, right amid the brutal winter blizzard.
The woman who filmed the video also seemed to have caught on footage gunshots heard moments later, with people running for cover in the sidewalk drifts.
Even though the location filmed in the video remained unclear, the New York State Police said they were reacting to numerous social media posts about looting in Buffalo.
The police said there were at least two confirmed looting incidents in the city, but could not confirm whether anyone had been arrested.
The NY State Police Superintendent, Steven A. Nigrelli, said police forces had been sent to two locations that got looted.
Nigrelli argued the cases were “isolated incidents” which did not reflect the state of Western New York’s “great community.”
He also expressed optimism that looting in Buffalo would be limited to the two cases at hand. However, more social media videos from Lake Erie City showed stores with broken windows and a pillaged 7-11 shop.
Unbelievable! Looters on snowmobile now taking out Family Dollar in #BuffaloBlizzard2022
— Sue Knows Best (@sues86453) December 27, 2022
People of #Buffalo have been amazing for 2nd time this year. Such an underrated city. I really feel like the rest of the country just doesn't quite grasp the severity of the #blizzard, hopefully I shined some needed light on the area. #buffaloblizzard2022 #WinterStorm2022 #NYwx pic.twitter.com/5nhQWUBjTN
— WxChasing- Brandon Clement (@bclemms) December 26, 2022
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) December 27, 2022
‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Snow Storm’
The winter blizzard over Christmas weekend brought at least 28.1 inches of snow to Buffalo, New York.
It caused the deaths of at least 17 people, as confirmed by the local authorities, while tens of thousands of locals were left without electricity in an outage that had not been fixed on Monday.
While others froze to death in their cars, the victims include a 56-year-old father who died on the streets, William “Romello” Clay. Video footage showed him lying in the snow face down.
According to a friend who commented on a Facebook post by Clay’s son Jules, the man lost his life on his birthday. The cause of Clay’s death has not been established and the authorities had trouble retrieving his body because of the lingering blizzard.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the state had suffered a “blinding” and “epic, once-in-a-lifetime storm.” She complained the snowfall prevented even plow trucks from traveling, not to speak of emergency services vehicles.
According to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, the number of deaths caused by the Christmas weekend blizzard is likely to climb further.
— Scott (@DarienDaredevil) December 27, 2022
— TVSHOWSRock♥ (@tvshowsrock) December 25, 2022