(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Thirty-nine people have died in Erie County, New York, after a historic winter storm slammed Buffalo.
Fatalities including people found in cars, people found outside and cardiac events from shoveling or blowing snow, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Among those killed was 52-year-old Monique Alexander, a Buffalo woman who doted on her three grandchildren, said her daughter, Casey Maccarone.
Alexander went out on Christmas Eve and never returned, Maccarone told ABC News.
“She never said where she was going, just that she would be right back,” she said.
“My mother was the rock of our family,” Maccarone said in a statement.
“You could count on her for anything, she was the caretaker every time someone needed them,” she said. “During the holidays she would even cook for neighbors or strangers who she knew didn’t have families, because she cared that much.”
William Clay died on Dec. 24, which was his 56th birthday, his sister, Sophia Clay, told ABC News.
He was “an avid reader” and “very religious” and read his Bible every day, his sister said.
“There’s people in this world that can quote the Bible but it’s not in their hearts — he’s one of those people that it was in his heart. He spoke it, he lived it,” Sophia Clay said.
William Clay is survived by family including his son and two grandchildren.
“He was a great brother, he was a great grandfather, he was a great friend,” Sophia Clay said.
Melissa Morrison, 46, was also among the fatalities, her mother, Linda Addeo, told ABC News.
She’s survived by two sons, ages 20 and 24.
Morrison was the “most loved daughter and mother,” Addeo said via text.
Abdul Sharifu, who died in the storm on Christmas Eve, would have turned 27 on Jan. 1, his cousin said.
His wife is pregnant and is due in about one week, The Buffalo News reported.
Sharifu, a refugee from the Congo, was known as someone who helped others around the neighborhood, the newspaper reported.
Anndel Taylor, 22, got stuck in the snow when leaving work on Dec. 23, according to her sister, Tomeshia Brown. Taylor sent a video to a family group chat around midnight that night; the next morning, calls to Taylor went unanswered and the family later learned of her death, Brown said.
Taylor, who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, moved to Buffalo in the summer of 2021 to take care of her father, Brown said.
“She was the most kind-hearted and loving person,” Brown said in a statement. “She went to take care of him, but also build a career so she can take more care of her family here in Charlotte. That was her main focus: go back to school, help her dad…She came to visit every chance she could.”
Lederise Curry, 46, was one of the people who died during the storm, her niece, Zaniya Gills, told ABC News.
Curry had asthma and suffered bad asthma attacks during blizzards, her niece told Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW.
She was a loving mom, daughter, aunt and sister, her niece said.
Curry leaves behind her 13-year-old son.
ABC News’ Christopher Looft, Lena Camilletti and Layla Ferris contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.