How Facebookers, a snowmobiler and neighbors helped a mom get home to her kids

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“Please help me. I’m stuck with Clinton and Babcock. My phone is off and I have to go home for my kids. I have money.”

This is the message Cassandra Garmon, a single mother of two and pharmacy technician at Buffalo General, posted to the “Buffalo Blizzard 2022” Facebook group at 8:54 pm on Friday.

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Garmon had left Cheektowaga’s house early that morning to go to work. Her daughters, Jasmyn, 13, and her Ja’Laya, 4, had a snowy day, while her Garmon, an essential worker, had to go to work. She knew they would be safe and happy when she left home.

“I knew it was going to snow.

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It was raining when she drove to work, but in the afternoon it snowed and she was nervous.

She said she got permission to leave at 2:30pm, half an hour early.

It took her half an hour to warm up the car before she left. Her plan was to go up to Clinton Street and take it home.

She now realizes she wasn’t ready.

“I moved to Buffalo three years ago. I’m from Virginia. I’m not used to this cold, snow, etc.,” she said.

A personal photo of Cassandra Garmon being rescued from a car during a snowstorm.

Courtesy of Cassandra Garmon

Her car got stuck on Jefferson Avenue near Sycamore Street, but Garmon was able to get out of it by rocking it back and forth.

However, the situation quickly deteriorated.

“I was driving with my head out the window because the snow was so bad, I felt like I had a cut on my face,” she said.

She got to Clinton Street. She couldn’t really see and she nearly hit a stuck or abandoned car in the middle of the street, she said.

Soon, her Chevrolet Malibu was also stuck between Seneca and Babcock streets.

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She started calling anyone who could think of helping her, but the snow was so bad that no one could. She called her 911, but she was stuck in the snow with police and even firefighters.

“We had no food, no water, nothing. All we had was gum. We didn’t have a phone charger,” Garmon said.

The truck stopped and the woman who was driving offered to help. But it didn’t work. She was able to move her car about 50 feet, but she got stuck again. And the woman said she didn’t know what she could do. she couldn’t see

Mr. Garmon stayed in the car, worried about his daughters who were home alone.

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Her car still had gas and she left it running. However, around 10pm, my cell phone battery died.

“There was no way to call the kids,” Garmon said.

she had to do something. I could see the house beyond the snow fluttering to the side. She went there and banged on her door. no luck She went to her neighbor’s house.

Turns out to be a truck woman.

Her house had no electricity and it was already freezing cold at that time.

Daughters of Cassandra Garmon

Family photo of Cassandra Garmon’s daughters Jasmine, 13, and Jalaya, 4. Waiting alone at her house while her mother was stuck in the snow.

Courtesy of Cassandra Garmon

Garmon asked if he could borrow the phone. He said the woman had a spare charger, which she gave. Garmon returned to his car and connected the phone.

She called her girl who was desperate.

“Keep it up, keep it up, keep it up,” Garmon told them. The eldest daughter was crying. Garmon knew his life was in danger, but he didn’t want to tell his daughters.

That’s when she found a Facebook group and asked for help. People began sharing her post and offering her help. A friend of hers emailed her that in order to save her fuel and keep enough heat, turn her engine on for her 10-20 minutes then turn her off for 40 minutes and her car of gasoline must be distributed. She also learned how to go outside to clean the tailpipes so she didn’t get poisoned by carbon monoxide.

“Brother, he tried to approach me, but got stuck in the street and had to turn back,” she said.

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Garmon put on his coat tightly and put a hoodie over his head.

She decided to stay awake and was too scared to fall asleep in this situation.

She kept asking for help.

“I desperately need help. I’ve been here since 3 p.m. I’m in Clinton between Babcock and Bushnell. I have cash,” she wrote at 2:22 a.m. Saturday.

The sun came up and she was still stuck. Then she saw her Facebook post, which became her lifeblood.

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Joseph Cook

A man named Tommy Kozatka wrote, “Snowmobiles are out, so if you’re stuck in your car, I’ll take you home.”

she sent him a message she didn’t reply. She asked others in the Facebook group to share her plight with him.At about 11:41 a.m., he responded and said he was on his way.

After that, around 12:30, Kozatsuka Stopped with her on his snowmobile. In no time, she was on her back and he zipped her up.

He dropped her off at the Seneca Babcock Community Center, where 20 to 30 people were looking for shelter.

There was no power there, but there was hot food. Neighbors brought everyone hot water for tea and cocoa, and some were making soup and chicken in the shelter kitchen.

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Garmon was grateful to be inside. My boots were soaked and my feet were numb.

Garmon was okay, but he still needed help. She put out another petition on Facebook.

A few hours later, two men stopped the truck to take her home.

I had to drop her off at the edge because the parking lot at the apartment complex was covered in snow. She walked around in the snow and nearly lost her boots.

She opened the door and saw her older daughter.

“She squeezed the air out of me. She was so worried,” she said.

On Sunday morning Garmon was resting and was just beginning to realize what had happened. It was the Buffalo Police who asked if she was still stuck.

“I can’t imagine if I were,” she said.

“Honestly, thanks to all the people who shared my post, prayed for me and cared for me, I have never been so cared for in my life.” I see people a little differently, I’ve literally seen with my own eyes how people can come together.”

She especially wanted to thank the women on the track. Kozatsuka And two people in a truck.

“I’m thinking of those who couldn’t escape and are still stranded. I know how scared I was. They’ve been there longer than I have,” she said. “But I am very grateful. I am grateful to be alive.”

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