30 Years Ago, A Mammoth Blizzard Pummeled MA And The Northeast
As we are in the midst of another Noreaster for the month of March, can you recall where you were three decades ago when the so-called "storm of the 20th century" paralyzed Massachusetts and our surrounding areas? It was deemed "The Blizzard of 93" and remained a long duration weekend event where various portions of our tri-state region measured the white stuff in feet, not inches.
This historical punch from Mother Nature was also known as "Superstorm '93". It is considered one of the all time most intense extra-tropical storms to have formed over and affected such a large portion of the United States. During it's peak roughly 1/3 of the United States was simultaneously being affected by harsh winter weather.
Here's how it all began: Snow starting flying across New England and New York during the early morning hours. It was on a Saturday morning (March 13th) as I trekked over to Kingston from neighboring Port Ewen to host my radio show on WBPM-FM (B-94). The roads were greasy, but passable going up route 9W as I made it into work for my 10 am air shift. It was afterwards, when I finished at 3 pm the worst of the worst came into fruition. My Toyota Tercel was buried in snow as this blizzard also produced heavy winds in the vicinity. The end result: I was stuck in our parking lot at John Street. the roads were impassable and there was no choice but to hunker down at my workplace.
Hours later, New York's first capital city received over a foot of snow. ALL major highways including The Massachusetts Turnpike, The New York State Thruway and Interstate 88 shut down as a state of emergency was declared in the vicinity due to heavy snow and high winds that exceeded 50 miles per hour, thus resulting in white-out conditions. Plows could NOT keep up with the heavy, powdery snow which was moveable, but the winds provided a catalyst that added problems for all.
I was fortunate to get home safely for my 4 mile trek back south as a Kingston police officer offered to drive me down to Port Ewen. That did not occur until around 12 midnight. Kudos to this gentleman who endured white-knuckle driving to bring me back to my refuge, but the saga continued into the next day as I had to go back to Kingston and dig out my car once the snowfall ceased. That was an adventure in itself. After the task at hand was completed, I stayed home until returning on Monday to a much better and plowed parking lot. There is my lasting memory on how I survived this monstrous blizzard. in one word: WOW!
Here are some statistics on this mammoth snowfall as the numbers will amaze you:
Out west, Syracuse, New York tallied almost 50 inches of snow breaking an old record of 41 inches back in 1932. The capital city, Albany had a massive 26 and a half inches, Worcester picked up 20 inches plus Boston and my ol' hometown of New York City also measured over a foot as well when it was ALL said and done.
Locally, here are some impressive totals as our tri-state region also fell victim to Old man Winter's wrath around this time in 1993:
Massachusetts: The jackpot went to Richmond as they scored a 30 plus inch snowfall, Peru got about a foot and a half. Other areas in the Berkshires received at least a foot of "the gift that keeps on giving".
New York: Greene county's Catskills were hard hit as Halcott Center picked up 1st prize with 40 inches, Prattsville got 3 feet, East Jewett measured an even 30 inches and Cairo got a 28 inch snowfall. In neighboring Columbia county, Copake led the pack receiving about a foot and a half.
Connecticut: Our hill towns in Litchfield county picked up the majority of snow anywhere from 15 inches to 2 feet, while southern parts of the state on the shoreline dealt with snow, high winds and constant beach erosion, but if you were inland, this storm truly left it's mark with a vengeance.
BOTTOM LINE: March is one of those months where a potpourri of weather awaits you including high impact snowstorms. Two words while we are experiencing this latest round of the white stuff: "STAY SAFE".
(Some information obtained in this article, courtesy of WRGB-TV, CBS 6)