PHOTO: New York Target Workers Provide Refuge for People Stranded During Blizzard

Cars in parking lot
Jasmin Merdan / stock photo / Getty

A blizzard forced several people to find shelter at a Target in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, over the weekend.

Buffalo natives Jessica Sypniewski, her boyfriend Samuel Lebron, and their two children were driving back to West Seneca early Friday before the bad weather hit, the Buffalo News reported Monday.

They initially thought it was just another storm, but the wind picked up speed and it quickly turned into whiteout conditions.

When they made it to the Target Plaza on Walden Avenue, Target employees welcomed them inside and offered Starbucks hot chocolate, blankets, and a place to sit and warm up.

For two days, a group of seven Target workers stranded at the store, instead of being home with their families for the…

Posted by The Buffalo News on Monday, December 26, 2022

For two days the seven Target employees, who were also away from their families on Christmas, took care of multiple other stranded motorists during one of the worst blizzards that anyone can remember.

Video footage shows the whiteout conditions in New York and other areas around the country:

At the Target, the workers pulled out inflatable mattresses and bedding so everyone would be comfortable.

Sypniewski recalled, “They said, ‘Anything you need, it’s on us. Just let us scan it first,'” which meant items such as food, a change of clothes, basic hygiene products, and coloring books. The following day, the employees set up a television so everyone could watch the Buffalo Bills game.

Sypiewski said they should be recognized for their efforts, adding, “They really deserve something for sticking through that entire situation with such a positive attitude.”

Approximately 25 people ended up finding shelter inside the building. Before they were rescued on Sunday, the employees also provided a Christmas feast.

Carla Rodriguez, who was also stranded, posted clips of her time inside the store on her TikTok page.

One video shows the young woman with her air mattress in one of the clothing sections and the snow piled up against the front doors:


Replying to @laureninaction were gonna get through it 🏼 #merrychristmaseve #blizzard

♬ Elevator Music – Bohoman

When she finally arrived at home, the young woman told followers she was safe, writing, “Thank you Target and associates for taking care of the community and becoming our temporary family. You will all never be forgotten.. Merry Christmas.”


Update.. We are finally home and Safe.. our hearts go to everyone right now, and to the ones who have been concerned for us, you are very appreciated from us both.. thank you Target and associates for taking care of the community and becoming our temporary family. You will all never be forgotten.. Merry Christmas 🎄 we love you guys. ❤️ #buffaloblizzard #buffalosnowstorm #target #stranded

♬ The Interstellar Piano – IvanLuzan

WKBW reported Monday that 25 people died during the blizzard that hit Erie County, New York, where Buffalo is located.

“There is of course a state of emergency in effect for all of Erie County,” an official told reporters:

“We were able to lift the driving ban in some communities but there still is a driving ban in the city of Buffalo,” he added.


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