Look no further, New England has found Nemo!
The storm is raging, snow piling up at a tremendous pace. The visibility at times is nearly nil, and I can just make out the glow of lights in the windows of the house across the street . . . not the house itself! Miraculously we still have power but that could certainly change at any moment.
But New England is well prepared and we’ve had days to get ready for Nemo! An extra can of gasoline for the generator, car tanks full. The local Boston news station that we watch, WHDH, has been on the air continuously since dawn this morning, and we’re fully informed every step of the way as we weather the storm.
Thanks to the National Weather Service and up-to-the-minute radar we watched Nemo’s approach throughout the day, knowing pretty well in advance what to expect. We can see a snapshot of this formidable storm taken from space, via NASA:
Can you imagine how different it would be to live in our ancestor’s times when storms arrived without warning, without predictions and forecasts? No time to prepare, no news outlets giving tips on storm preparedness, or what to do if such and such a thing happens. I can’t even imagine it.
Take the blizzard of 1888, dubbed the Great White Storm. [Following excerpt from "The Great White Hurricane, The Blizzard of 1888: March 11-March 14, 1888 - by Borgna Brunner]:
The “Great White Hurricane,” as it was called, paralyzed the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine. Telegraph and telephone wires snapped, isolating New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington for days. Two hundred ships were grounded, and at least one hundred seamen died. Fire stations were immobilized, and property loss from fire alone was estimated at $25 million. Overall, more than 400 deaths were reported.
The days leading up to the blizzard were unseasonably mild, with temperatures in the 40s and 50s along the East Coast. Torrential rains began falling, and on March 12th the rain changed to heavy snow, temperatures plunged, and a ferocious wind began. The storm continued unabated for the next 36 hours. Sources vary, but National Weather service estimated that fifty inches of snow fell in Connecticut and Massachusetts and forty inches covered New York and New Jersey. Winds blew up to 48 miles an hour, creating snowdrifts forty to fifty feet high. The resulting transportation crisis led to the creation of the New York subway, approved in 1894 and begun in 1900.