1. News

Buffalo hospital prepares for baby boom 9 months after storm

Ice, ice babY

Buffalo birth boom began with big chill

Snowed in and scrambling during a freak storm in November, Mary Ann Murphy predicted another flurry of activity in about nine months at the Buffalo hospital where she's in charge of maternity services.

Sure enough, a mini baby boom has begun and hospital officials say they expect to deliver about 250 babies before August is through, up from the usual 200 or so.

"Several months ago, I looked at our nurse manager and said: 'We better buy more cribs,' " Murphy said at Mercy Hospital in south Buffalo, where a jaw-dropping 7 feet of snow fell during the week before Thanksgiving.

The hospital serves the areas hardest hit by the Lake Erie-driven storm — and it has seen weather-related peaks in births before.

"Nowhere to go, nothing to do," is how Jason and Stephanie Brueggeman describe that week, when it was so snowy that a village plow got stuck in front of their Lancaster home and the pile it had been pushing sat there for days. They welcomed daughter Grace Elizabeth this week.

Next week is the nine-month mark of the storm.

Associated Press