This year, it was Mother Nature who decided to play an early trick on New England and the Tri-State Area with a rare Nor’easter snowstorm.
Nor’easters are not unknown in October on the east coast of the U.S., nor is early snow completely unknown. What is unknown, for the most part, is early snow that sticks. And that is just what happened this year on October 29: the snow not only came, but it decided to stay put, creating more than a little havoc and discomfort in the areas interested by its invasion, some of which were completely taken by surprise.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…
A number of areas, such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and upper New York had been warned that they would be getting a few inches of snow, but most zones were expecting heavy rain at the most. However, around 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, weather forecasters began hinting that even New Yorkers could expect a couple of inches of white stuff, although it probably would just become slush. However, most of us already knew by that time that it was going to stick.
New York City registered a record fall for such an early date of 2.9 inches. Jaffrey, NH had the most snow, with a total of 31.4 inches, but several other cities also had impressive totals, including 30.8 inches and 26.0 inches in Plainfield and Windsor, MA. West Milford, NJ holds the record for the Tri-state area with 19 inches.
The greatest damage in the area was caused by downed trees, which took down power-lines, blocked traffic and left passengers traveling from the Jamaica, Queens station to Penn Station in the lurch when one fell on the Long Island Rail Road track.
May the Power be with you
Millions of homes and businesses in the affected areas were left without electrical power and heating beginning early Saturday afternoon. Power companies have announced that, collectively, around three million customers were still without service as of Sunday afternoon. Icy roads, deep snow and downed trees are among the main reasons that remaining service has yet to be restored. Upstate New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have had most of their customers’ power restored, while Connecticut has still over 800,000 customers waiting. Some areas may have to wait at least until Wednesday, November 2, to have complete power restored.
Most of the streets have been cleared in New York City and its five Boroughs, although, because of below freezing nocturnal temperatures, there are traffic advisories out warning drivers of the possibility of black ice.