But many would-be volunteers say the roads remain impassable, making it impossible to get to work.
Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Nate Marton slept clothed in his office inside City Hall on Friday and Saturday, saying he was supervising crews digging roads so electric workers could fix wires . What spurred power back on, he said, was the fact that some substations were frozen, requiring workers with heaters to go inside to thaw the frost.
In the small community of Basom, a restaurant served as a makeshift shelter for 115 stranded passers-by and four dogs for two days, said general manager Joe Bradt. “We immediately decided we were going to be a shelter.”
People slept wherever they could, he said: on the chairs, on the floor and in the bar of the Alabama Hotel, which, despite its name, was not a hotel in ordinary times. Neighbors and local businesses have donated supplies despite the storm, and the outpouring of support has made people feel “overjoyed,” he said.
“The past two days have been emotional,” Mr. Brad said.
Perhaps the most unlikely development of the blizzard came when Alexander and Andrea Campagna knocked on their door on Friday. Outside were nine South Korean tourists traveling from Washington, D.C. to Niagara Falls when their tour bus got stuck in the snow in front of their house.
Campagnas soon invited them in, which is how they found themselves on Christmas Eve eating jeyuk bokkeum, a Korean stir-fried pork dish prepared by some of their guests. Visitors are delighted to discover that the couple are fans of Korean food and have all the traditional ingredients on hand.
On Christmas night, the driver finally came to pick up tourists, including college students, parents of students, and even a young newlywed couple on their honeymoon. They were heading to New York City with plans to fly home later. If they stay an extra night in Buffalo, beef roasts are on the menu.
“We thoroughly enjoyed it all,” said Mr. Campania said he now plans to visit South Korea.
Carmen Spataro, 28, drove his ATV up and down the usually busy shopping district of Hertel Avenue Sunday afternoon as residents and emergency services helped each other dig. Shuttle, looking for milk and diapers for his two young children, and growing increasingly desperate when he found all the shops closed.
However, after a few laps, Mr. Spataro got what he needed: a box of diapers was placed in his hand by a stranger.
Christy Chung, Ava Sassani edwardo medina with Roberto Chiarito Contribution report.