Stories of acts of kindness to strangers abounded in Erie and Niagara counties after the deadly Christmas weekend blizzard.
But some local employees of the U.S. Postal Service say they experienced the flip side of that story.
They allege that Postal Service managers on Dec. 23 ignored warnings about the ferocious nature of the storm, and after debating among themselves for hours, finally allowed workers to stop mail deliveries.
But management then ordered workers to vacate the Williamsville Postal Station that afternoon and drive home in extremely dangerous conditions, they allege.
According to union officials, dozens of workers – including a mail carrier more than seven months pregnant – were ordered by their bosses to leave the postal station on Sheridan Drive by 4 p.m. or face arrest.
Five workers familiar with the situation told The News that managers told employees the police would be called if they did not leave.
The pregnant mail carrier tried to drive home in extreme blizzard conditions, got stuck in a Cheektowaga snowbank and had to be rescued by volunteer firefighters, said David J. Grosskopf Jr., president of the Buffalo branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers.