BUFFALO, NY (CBS) — A New Hampshire teen was among a busload of Niagara University women’s basketball team members stranded on the highway en route to Buffalo, NY, during the state’s worst snowstorm of the season.
The teen, Jamie Sherburne, of Hudson, NH, told WBZ-TV the team was returning to Buffalo late Monday night after playing a game in Pittsburgh. With about 30 minutes left in an anticipated four-hour road trip, the bus came to a stop on Interstate 90. They stayed at a standstill for 26 hours.
“It was kind of like a joke. We were laughing about it. But we had no idea that we were going to be stuck for 30 hours,” Sherburne told WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager.
“We were singing, we did some fun things on the bus, just trying to keep us all happy,” said Sherburne. They also lightened the mood by creating a jingle they put to video.
“Then we were getting reports that people were getting pulled out of cars unconscious,” Sherburne said.
The storm dumped more than 4 feet of snow and has been blamed for at least six deaths.
“It was getting more serious and the hours were going by, we were getting a little nervous and scared,” said Sherburne.
At every hour that passed, the team came together, held hands, and prayed.
“We were praying for other people too, in a worse situation,” Sherburne. “We wanted to ask God to help others and help us.”
The bus remained heated and they had enough to food to sustain, but Sherburne said at one point they ran out of water.
The team’s coach, Corinne Jones, is from Canton, Mass.
“We started to realize, ‘OK the leftover pizza’s gone. The granola bars are getting slim. The water’s getting low,’” coach Jones said. “It’s not like a game where at the 40 minute mark the buzzer sounds and you’re done. You run off the court and you win or you lose. We didn’t know what was going to happen.”
The team brought on board a man stranded in a car behind their bus whose car stopped running.
“We were very fortunate to have what we did for the time being,” said Sherburne.
They couldn’t tell where they were by looking out of their windows. After nearly 30 hours, first responders arrived by snowmobile to deliver food and water. Afterwards, State troopers arrived in Humvees to transport those stranded to buses at nearby police barracks.
“It was almost like a movie,” said Jones, as she explained the relief. “Just like a feel good movie.”
Sherburne said she considers herself and her team members lucky that no one was hurt.
“In New Hampshire, we do get a lot of snow, that’s for sure,” Sherburne said. “I would’ve never expected anything like this.”
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager contributed to this report.
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