Skip to comments.History does NOT mean that which "current" men can recall or have lived through
Posted on 02/08/2013 5:46:22 PM PST by jongaltsr
The Worst Blizzards in United States History From the Blizzard of 1888 to the Present Day
Read the newspapers/watch TV/Listen to Radio and you will hear them ALL going on and on and on about how his historical this snow storm is.
History IS NOT restricted to that which you lived through.
A winter storm must meet certain qualifications to be characterized as an official blizzard. In a blizzard, visibility is reduced to a quarter of a mile or less from falling OR blowing snow, and the wind speed is at least thirty-five miles an hour for no less than three hours. Blizzards have struck without warning throughout the history of the United States, killing hundreds, stranding thousands, and demonstrating nature's awesome power. From the blizzard generally regarded as the worst in our nation's annals, the Blizzard of 1888, to the recent blizzard of 2006, these ferocious storms are capable of paralyzing entire sections of the country even today.
The Blizzard of 1888 has been called "The Great White Hurricane", and for good reason. Starting on March 12th and ending on the 14th, this colossal blizzard left snow drifts in some places that were fifty feet high. The East Coast from Maryland to the Canadian Maritimes was absolutely brought to a stop by this blizzard. The existing telegraph system was destroyed, cutting the major cities off from the outside world for days. Two hundred ships were lost at sea or in harbors, and over one hundred seaman perished. Fire stations could not get their apparatus out onto the street, so the fire damage alone was estimated at over twenty five million dollars. New York City saw a hundred people die, and in all four hundred met their end during this blizzard. Fifty inches of snow fell in parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the forty plus that blanketed New York caused the city to build their underground subway system to avoid future disasters such as this one.
(YET MORE) - Early in 1888, the deadly Schoolhouse Blizzard struck the Plains States from Texas to South Dakota, stranding school children in their one-room schoolhouses, hence the name. On January 12th, the temperatures were mild, but an incredible drop in the mercury brought the levels low enough so that it could snow. The gusting winds soon created whiteout conditions, where the ground could not be differentiated from the sky. About 235 people died, most of them school-aged kids on their way home that never realized they had no chance of traversing such conditions. Some froze to death where they fell, while others lost their lives to the effects of frostbite; some were not found until spring. One teacher actually tied a rope around her class of seventeen kids and led them to the safety of the house she lived in.
Snow was not the major feature of the Great Blizzard of 1899; it was the cold weather that set records from Montana to Florida. The cold wave extended all the way to Miami, where on February 14th the temperature fell to 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Sub-zero cold covered every state from Maine to Georgia, and a low-pressure system came up the East Coast with over a foot of snow in many places, with two to three feet in New England. New Orleans became iced over, and Tallahassee, Florida saw the thermometer read minus two, the only sub-zero temperature in Florida in recorded history.
In January of 1922, a blizzard covered Washington D. C. with over two feet of snow. The storm came to be called the Knickerbocker Storm because the weight of all this snow caved in the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre, killing almost one hundred people in one of our capitol's worst disasters. The fearsome Armistice Day Blizzard hit the Midwest on November 11th, 1940, and caught the entire region off guard. Warm temperatures turned bitterly cold in a matter of hours, the winds reached eighty miles an hour, and two feet of snow and freezing precipitation came down. Duck hunters on the rivers were trapped in their blinds, as the weather forecasters had totally whiffed on their predictions. Many froze on the islands they were trapped on and some drowned trying to get to safety. In all, one hundred and fifty four died in this blizzard, sixty-six of them sailors that went to their fate on three separate sinking freighters in Lake Michigan.
The Blizzard of 1978 was as bad as it gets in many northeastern states, with some receiving over fifty inches of snow. Hurricane force winds turned the entire Northeast into a white wasteland for days, as no amount of plows could possibly have kept pace with the snowfall. Over fifty people died in this storm, one a child who went outside his Massachusetts home just a few feet and wasn't found until the snow melted. People died in their cars from carbon monoxide poisoning, trapped on the side of the road waiting to be rescued, while the snow blocked their exhausts. Fallen power lines caused many deaths and coastal flooding brought devastating erosion.
The 1996 Blizzard that gave Philadelphia its single greatest snowfall of thirty inches paralyzed the East Coast. Three of the last four years have seen powerful blizzards affect the Atlantic and New England States, and a blizzard just recently turned Denver, Colorado into the North Pole, making travel all but impossible. Blizzards are a part of the winter in this country, and the next great one could be just around the corner.
Let me see if I have this straight: if I wake up in the Northeast (where I am not) with 30 inches of snow on my doorstep, I’m not “having things bad?”
One note. In many states, snow depth was so deep that they built two story outhouses and all houses had a door on the second floor dormer for just such events.
No doubt you would be inconvenienced but it would not be historical.
Historical indicates that such circumstances occur rarely though time and one century is short in regards to things historical.
I lived in Colorado and in 1983 I had snow so deep that the entire front of the house was covered in over 8 feet of snow. My back yard was just about as deep. When I dug out from my garage I got to the street and there was over (well over) 5 feet of snow between me and the house across the street. Cars could not be seen. Trucks could “barely” identified by a bump in the snow. We did not get our street cleared for almost a week because ALL of Denver and the surrounding suburbs were so stranded.
That was not historical. That was cyclical.
I couldn’t agree with you more profusely.
To me history is relative. For example — yesterday was History but not of the nature many would consider even the least important in such regard.
The name of this game is apocalypto-— “please oh please watch our network to get the latest news, and watch our stupid ads....because only WE can help you” Bulletins and advice from Bloomberg—”help us FEMA” Help us dear GOV.
This is the same thing that happens with a major hurricane— a lot of interest in the run up and the impact....then NOTHING afterward for people really hurt. Like during Andrew in Miami— not a word. Not the namby pamby CAT 1 that flattened wooden shacks on Rockaway that don’t even qualify as “housing” but valued at...well you know.
The most important part of this expanded govt. role— FEMA as interface to the “civilian” military and martial law (about which see Deval Patrick order citing no travel allowed on roads— seriously, you’ll need a special pass not “just cause you’re free to do so”. Big MAMA govt. and their choir in the media. About the only time ad rates go up on the Weather Channel is during hurrican season or this type of thing.
We keep a “storm box” with two weeks of food (separate from our 2 years worth) with cooking fuel, emergency batteries, heat blankets (space blankets), propane for heaters, and kerosene for lighting when the batteries go. Well, we’re just country bumpkins who are PREPARED- or in other words people to be watched by the feds as “preppers”. What idiocy.
Want to know what cold really was— Valley Forge in the Revolution and when the Delaware river had huge ice blocks in it when Washington crossed to the Battle of Trenton— a 200 year cycle of a mini-ice age. Think how much people invested in global warming would have made with what is coming (and are still trying to make it seems pitching global warming)- another cycle of cold.
Seriously though to NE freepers— be safe and careful, and we pray you will be OK, and better yet prepared.This is nothing a real New Englander hasn’t seen before. Deo Vindice.
Would YOU consider something that happened yesterday as historical?
Likewise, would consider something historical that happens (less often) but often enough that every one hundred years or so that it occurs on a more or less regular basis?
The bombing of the twin towers WAS historical simply because of their status of being the largest towers in the “Known” world and it was done by airplanes which both facts can not be found any place in history due to the overall uniqueness of both the buildings and how they were destroyed.
NOW - THAT WAS HISTORICAL.
Thanks for this post. I never heard of the “school house blizzard” I guess it got over shadowed by the March storm.
We really have it a lot better nowadays, there wasn’t even radio back in the 1800s!
Looks like the numerous outhouses found in “Encampment Wyoming”. Most have been torn down but there are still many in existance - and most of the houses still keep the second story door.
This account didn’t mentioon the the Great Pasadena Blizzard of 1949, which buried the Southland under about four inches of snow.
Could not agree with you more. People have become “gimme’s) when ever they are inconvenienced because our government hands out money for those who “feel” they deserve reimbersement regardless of any insurance that they should have had in the first place to cove such potential loss.
Example. When warned about Hurricane Katrina people stayed in their homes then cried when they got flooded out and warned many days in advance that they would probably be flooded.
I did not feel sorry for ANY of those people who stayed behind.
You are both absolutely correct.
I couldn't agree more. I talk to young people all the time that have no concept of the time before they were born.
The snow was between 4 to 6 feet depending on the wind drifts. For kids it was great because we had three snow days. Everybody stayed home and gave the city enough time for all the trucks to have their plows replaced.
It was basically no big deal.
I now live where two inches of snow shuts down the entire city for a week.
One winter, when I was 5 or 6 years old, we got a snow that was up to my armpits! Has not snowed armpit deep since that year.
Oh yeah and that winter it was so cold our words froze as we spoke them, had to thaw them out over a campfire to hear what was being said. That spring was the noisiest spring in History.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
gotta get the bread and milk!!!
I know it’s a little late, but the other day there was some kind of NWS advisory for here (W PA) about... 1 (one) inch of snow that could hit. Insanity.