WNY State Senate Delegation Joins Together to Honor Victims of November Storm

January 27, 2015

Senators Kennedy, Ranzenhofer, Gallivan, Ortt and Panepinto Introduce Resolution to Remember 13 Lives Lost  

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Two months after one of the region’s most devastating winter storms, Senators Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo), Michael Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst), Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma), Robert Ortt (R-C-I, North Tonawanda) and Marc Panepinto (D-Buffalo) today introduced a resolution  to honor and recognize the lives lost during that storm.

The storm, which resulted in an estimated $49 million in damage and cleanup costs across the six affected counties, left nearly seven feet of snow and crippled the region. Communities from across New York State responded with assistance, and President Obama declared a major disaster area in December. Lasting four days, the storm was unusual in that it left much of Buffalo’s northern half unscathed, while at the same time grinding South Buffalo and much of the Southern and Eastern suburbs to a halt.

At today’s session,  the lives of the following 13 people were honored:

  • Stephen Thomas
  • Cynthia Woodrick
  • Michael Strachan
  • Lyle Hull, Sr.
  • Ruth Snyder
  • Valentine Mozdziak
  • John “Jack” Boyce
  • James A. Thomas, Sr.
  • Jan Barsam
  • David Deneke
  • Donald Abate
  • Robert Cedar
  • Delancey Scott

“Millions of dollars were spent cleaning up from the epic four-day storm that hit our region in November, but the financial costs pale in comparison to the human cost,” said resolution sponsor Sen. Tim Kennedy. “There are now thirteen families with an empty seat at the table, and a hole in their hearts that will never be filled. While we can never ease that pain, the very least we could do at a state level is recognize those lives lost, and make sure that the memories of those Western New Yorkers are never forgotten.”  

"I was deeply saddened when I learned that 13 residents died in last November's storm.  One of those residents, John "Jack" Boyce of Oakfield, was a constituent of mine.  It is so important to pay tribute to each one of these lives," said Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer. "My thoughts and prayers are with the family members of Jack and all the loved ones of these 13 individuals."

“The family of New York comes together today to honor and remember all of the victims of November’s unprecedented snowstorm. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan.

“The deadly November storm was a tragic event where one life lost was too many,” said Sen. Robert Ortt. “We wanted to do something to commemorate those who lost their lives to make certain they will never be forgotten, and to, in any small way we can, somehow help with the healing process.”

“Today, the Senate passed a Resolution honoring the 13 victims of Buffalo’s November Winter Storm. The people of Western New York are all too familiar with harsh winters. This storm however brought the ultimate tragedy to the families of the 13 individuals who lost their life. It is in the honor of these individuals that we take the time to reflect and speak their names. May the people of New York and across our nation always remember,” said Sen. Marc Panepinto.