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Will Buffalo Become a Climate Change Haven?

The Western New York city possesses a distinct mix of weather, geography, and infrastructure that could make it a potential climate haven. But for whom?
A storefront sign in Buffalo, which scientists say will be a refuge from worsening weather.
A storefront sign in Buffalo, which scientists say will be a refuge from worsening weather.Nexus Media

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Maria Robles saw rainfall so severe that it punched a hole through her roof and flooded her home in San Juan. “We lost everything inside the house,” she said. “Everything, everything, everything.”

The storm marked the beginning of a long journey that took her from the convention center in San Juan to a hotel in Florida to an airport in Philadelphia, concluding with an 11-hour bus ride to Buffalo, New York — her husband had once visited the city as a teenager and remembered liking it. She arrived with two of her four children in tow. It didn’t take long for Robles and her family to settle into their new home. She landed a job in a factory that makes face cream, lip balm, and other personal care products, while her husband found a job in a plastics factory. Robles said she still struggles with the frigid weather, but she would gladly take a snowstorm over a hurricane any day.