(NBC News) — The families prayed for a miracle, knowing their loved ones were trapped in their cars for days as an unprecedented blizzard paralyzed Buffalo, New York, with freezing temperatures and blinding snow.

In Anndel Taylor’s home on Sunday night, a Christmas feast, full of the 22-year-old’s favorite dishes — macaroni and cheese, jerk pork and spiral ham — sat at the table untouched.

At a nearby home, the food also went cold as Edie Syta and her brother received news that their 73-year-old mother, Stasia Jóźwiak, who drove to the supermarket on Friday, was never coming back. 

“You hope for the freaking best and you want the best, and everyone’s praying and everyone wants a miracle, and it doesn’t turn out that way,” Syta said through tears.

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