Diocese to ring church bells marking anniversary of Christmas blizzard

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is marking the one-year anniversary of what many know as the Christmas blizzard — an event that paralyzed Western New York and resulted in dozens of deaths.

Friday at 9 a.m., the Diocese will ring church bells across the region “for an extended period,” according to a news release from the City of Buffalo.

“It is with heavy hearts that we look back at December 2022, and remember the lives that were taken by the historic blizzard. The city of Buffalo was the epicenter of a storm that claimed the lives of residents across Erie and Niagara counties,” said Mayor Brown. “My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all the families who lost loved ones during that time.”

Buffalo Bishop Michael Fisher praised Western New Yorkers who lent a hand to their neighbors during the event.

“Despite the great suffering and loss of life, it also was an opportunity for Western New Yorkers to demonstrate their most charitable and compassionate side and show why our area is so special as demonstrated by our neighbors’ countless acts of kindness and charity that saved lives and eased people’s burdens during this generational storm,” Fisher said.

In all, 46 people in Erie County, and one in Niagara County, died as a result of the blizzard. Since then, both Erie County and the City of Buffalo have made changes to their blizzard response preparation, including improved communication methods and additional snow-ready equipment.

The Buffalo History Museum recently revealed a collection of materials pertaining to the historic event.

MORE | See News 4’s complete coverage of the Christmas blizzard here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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