WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Thursday’s Lake Effect snow hit just as many people were leaving work and school, creating gridlock on the roads for hours and leaving hundreds of students stranded at Allendale and West Elementary schools after their buses could not drop them off at home.
By 2 a.m. Friday, there were still 17 students at Allendale waiting for their parents to be able to make it there to pick them up. The last of those kids did not leave for another hour, when they were delivered home by the principals and West Seneca Police.
All of the 291 students who were waiting at West Elementary had been picked up before 1 a.m. Friday.
“At least she wasn’t stuck on a bus,” said one parent, Keith Swartz, as he picked his daughter up around midnight. “That’s what I’m thankful for: That she was in the school and fed, warm, and not stuck on a bus.”
Some of the buses sat for hours in the gridlock traffic, as commuters sat bumper to bumper trying to get home. After a while, some students were taken back to the schools to wait for their parents to pick them up, whenever that became possible.
West Seneca CSD Superintendent Dr. Mark Crawford told News 4 most of the impacted students “think it was a great adventure.” Teachers and administrators stayed with the students at the schools to take care of them.
The students were fed dinner, watched movies, played games, and even had blankets while they waited.
Crews brought chains to help pull buses out of the deep snow in front of the schools Friday morning.