Former Buffalo Bills exec Don Purdy recounts storm that left city – and his NFL team – in the dark
October is typically an autumnally moderate weather month in Buffalo. In October of 2006, however, Buffalo was hit with a surprise storm that shook the city.
In “Thunder Snow of Buffalo: The October Surprise Storm,” Don Purdy, former director of football for the Buffalo Bills, partnered with licensed mental health clinician Billy Klun to provide a book about the famous surprise snowstorm that toppled trees and power lines all over the city, leaving myriad residents without power for days.
With a foreword by National Football League (Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy and input from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Purdy shares how the destructive storm affected him and his family, his community, the NFL, and Buffalo’s landscape. Detailed contributions from the leading meteorologists at all three of Buffalo’s major television networks explain how it was truly the “Storm of the Century.”
“Working for the NFL at the time, we were unprepared for a crisis of this magnitude,” Purdy said. “More than 30 players, coaches and staff had to leave their families behind, without power or heat, to travel to Detroit for a regular season game.”
These players, coaches and staff recount their own memories, as well as never-before-shared insights into the inner workings of the NFL and the Buffalo Bills organization.
A press release noted, “Their quick thinking and innovative operational adjustments helped the team handle the epic storm, as the entire city and Western New York region struggled with the overwhelming aftermath. The city’s recovery efforts were boosted by volunteers who were determined to replant the more than 55,000 lost trees and give the downed tree carcasses a proud second life – ‘Buffalo style.’ ”
Klun said, “It’s a unique blend of weather, history and professional sports. It’s a memento for the people who lived it, as well as a peek into how an NFL team handled an epic crisis.”
“Thunder Snow of Buffalo” is available via Archway Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To learn more, visit https://www.archwaypublishing.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/824819-thunder-snow-of-buffalo.
Purdy was an executive with the Buffalo Bills for 27 years, his last role serving as director of football administration. He saw the Bills through four Super Bowl appearances and managed a $20 million annual budget, expenses and worker’s compensation cases for the team. He is currently senior adviser for MVProspects, as a primary contact for the NFL and other professional sports franchises. He serves on the president’s advisory board for Houghton College, his alma mater. Purdy lives in West Seneca with his wife of 31 years, Amy. They have two daughters, Anna (McTigue) and Claire.
Klun is an LMHC specializing in addiction, geriatric and personality disordered populations, practicing at Column Health and Renz Counseling, outside of Boston. After receiving his degrees in psychology and English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Klun attained his MA in mental health counseling at the Boston College Lynch School of Education, as well as his second master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Boston (management of aging services). He enjoys genealogy and spending time on Florida’s Gulf Coast with his dog, Alfred.