Victims Hit by Blizzard and Looting

It can be tough to maintain order from leaches if Mother Nature buries you. Police received reports from social media that properties were being ransacked in Buffalo. At least 27 people died in the state as a result of the storm. Wegmans and Tops stores in Erie County were closed. A few arrests were made. The Governor thought price gouging might have been an issue so she spoke about that.

Buffalo hit

It was nailed in more than one way. Mayor Byron Brown was disgusted at those that looted, calling them “the lowest of the low”.

Brown said,

“I don’t know how these people can even live with themselves, how they can look at themselves in the mirror. And from some of the pictures that we’ve seen on social media of these looters, they’re not looting foods and medicines, they’re just looting items that they want. So these aren’t even people in distress — these are people who are taking advantage of a national disaster and the suffering of many in our community to take what they want.”

In Buffalo it wasn’t about need

An NBC affiliate spoke with two civilians about the looting. One said, “It’s not about a need. It was a storm for one day — it’s not about a need.” Another source agreed, “Exactly. They took TV sets.”

New York State Police Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli dispatched officers to deal with the cases. He’s hoping it’s only a couple of them. “Those are still under investigation as we speak. Those are isolated incidents, and it’s not reflective of the great community of Western New York, and I’m sure that they’ll be limited to those two incidents — or at least that’s our hope.”

Buffalo has other work to do as well

City Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said police were doing several things, including unfortunately dealing with bodies. “We’ve been able to — throughout the storm — transition our patrol officers to get back [to] their patrol efforts while we have our search and rescue recovery teams that are going out and doing the very difficult work of recovering bodies.”

Governor Hochul thought local businesses might be overcharging so she’s on the alert about that.

“Price gouging is illegal. We have the attorney general’s office and our state is prepared to investigate any complaints of price gouging. Those who engage in this disgusting practice at a time when people in our community are hurting, when they’re trying so hard to get basic necessities, there’s a scarcity because stores have been closed since Friday, then shame on them. And they’re going to meet the law in a way they probably didn’t encounter. We’re going to be going after them. The Department of Financial Services is engaging the insurance industry, making sure we have claims adjusters on the ground to help people who’ve had damage. Whether it’s the weight of snow on their roofs, whether it’s water damage … we want to make sure people know we’ll get help to them as soon as possible.”

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