CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The cleanup effort is just beginning in many towns across Erie County, including hard hit Cheektowaga.

The historic blizzard left Princeton Court in the dark for two days without heat in the height of the storm. Now that the lights are back on, the cleanup can begin.

“We had no idea when it was going to end. We didn’t know what we were going to have when it stopped. It didn’t seem like it was going to stop,” Joe Brown said.

The Blizzard of ’22 left many neighborhoods in Cheektowaga snow covered with drifts as high as some houses, a ferocious storm that some feel was years in the making.

“That’s what it has been the last 10 or so years, waiting for the big one that never came. This is the big one,” Brown added.

Homes on Princeton Court were without power for two and half days, as temperatures dropped to 40 degrees indoors.

“I’ve never been in a house that cold before. It being my house and not knowing if it was going to get to the point when the pipes were going to start busting, you just hold your breath and hope for the best,” Brown continued.

Don Ciotuszynski says this is the worst storm he has ever seen. 

“I tried to drive to the gas station, or did drive to the gas station during the heart of it, and it was the worst I’ve ever driven in. I couldn’t see anything. It was like someone put a blanket over my windshield,” Ciotuszynski said.

Denise B. said her husband was stuck overnight in his car.

“My husband got stuck up on Cleveland. He stayed overnight in his car and he finally decided to leave his car and it took him two and a half hours to walk from the end of the street here,” Denise said.

On Tuesday, the neighborhood was finally plowed out.

“At first I wasn’t sure if we would ever get out, even though I knew we would, I’m just very thankful for them, very thankful,” Denise continued.

Many side streets not only in Cheektowaga, but also in Buffalo. Many of them are untouched and officials say drivers should stay off the roads if possible so crews can get to work on your neighborhood.

Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.