For the last week in Buffalo, N.Y., former MTN News reporter Jaurdyn Johnson has been living in hurricane force winds, little visibility and a Christmas stuck in a hotel with co-workers.
Johnson now works as a multimedia journalist at WKBW in Buffalo, but grew up in Helena and worked for MTN News until July 2022. So, she's no stranger to the winter weather.
But she says this storm is unlike anything she's ever been through. Johnson was unable to get back to her apartment on Friday but was fortunate enough to get a hotel close to her place of work. She says the walk to work felt like another world compared to the busy streets Buffalo usually holds.
“It felt like the apocalypse. Like, I, no one was out. I couldn’t see very far in front of me when the wind gusts,” Johnson said Monday.
Yet, she says she understands the importance of being a journalist at a time like this and that “it feels good to be able to give information that could save someone’s life.”
The death toll continues to rise in the area. Johnson said county officials attribute the deaths to shoveling, being found in a car and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“I’m just so thankful that I am alive," Johnson said. "And I’m just so happy to be able to report for [community members] and give them the information that will keep them safe.”