Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I know it’s August. We’re still running our air conditioners. Picking cucumbers from the garden. The locusts are buzzing and spiders feasting on moths around the outside lights. The kids are just now returning to school. So who’s even thinking about winter, let alone snow storms?

Yes, that would be me.

I just finished a book called “Blizzard” by Jim Murphy. It’s a children’s book, published by Scholastic, but contains a wealth of information about the “Great White Hurricane of 1888.”

The spring of 1888 had been one of the mildest on record in New York City. Very little snow had fallen. Saturday, March 10th, was no exception. People were out and about, enjoying the pleasant day. No one knew that two massive storm systems were heading toward the east coast.

Twenty-four hours later, the city was paralyzed by a record breaking snow storm that caused 30 foot high drifts and wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. The highest reported drift was 52 feet.
Railroads were shut down. Roads and highways were blocked, and ships were stuck in the harbor. Horse drawn streetcars and taxis halted. Telephone and telegraph services were lost, as was electricity. People were confined to their houses for up to a week. The storm caused the deaths of over 200 people in the city, including U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling.

I can’t do this storm justice with a short blog article. But you can read much more in the book I mentioned above and at the following URLs:

The Great White Hurricane 


  1. This is fascinating! I love freak weather, especially when it's late in the Spring. Just the perfect time for such a calamity to come. I suppose it might be morbid of me to say, but it's the perfect set-up for a story. ^.^

  2. This is so interesting! Now-a-days we can be warned of this type of storm coming but back then they really had no warning. They'd be enjoying a beautiful March day and then this hits! Crazy. So glad we have storm warnings now. : )

  3. I agree, Rachel. I love this kind of stuff!!

  4. Cathy, I live on the gulf coast, where this time of year, we are always watching weather channels. :-)

    Hard to imagine when even storm as large as this one couldn't be predicted.


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