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> Best Winter Storm Of Your Lifetime?, Which Winter Storm Treated Your Area The Best?
stusson
post Oct 7 2010, 04:11 AM
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QUOTE(QuietCorner @ Aug 29 2008, 04:19 AM) *
Cannot forget the Bizzard of 78, I was only 7 at the time but 34 inches of snow in my South Central Mass town seemed like walls of snow as my father tried to keep up snow blowing the driveway. Of recent memory, I think the storms in January into February of 1996 stand out as being a very snowy period in my area. What a winter that was!


I'm in QC's corner on the 1978 (Feb 6th) blizzard in New England; I was 18 years old, working on framing of condos in Lexington Mass, which was 40 miles or more from my home (Berkley), we were released early to get headed home, because the highways were already begining to be affected; no sooner were the four of us (in a two door pickup truck, 2WD!) on the road for a little bit, and the traffic was stopped, we were in stopped to semi crawling traffic on Rte 128 southbound for HOURS (plenty of time for snowball throwing and other antics in the highway, until traffic moved again.) Observed a few stuck and marooned plow trucks on off ramps, that could not push the moisture laden snow piling up by the inches per hour. We fishtailed once badly and got the rear wheels into some of the deep stuff on the side that had not been packed by vehicles, we got a lift out, literally, by a large front end loader that was clearing a ramp nearby. I was finally dropped off at the lot where my Jeep was parked, I pulled out another guy's car, got him going, followed him home to see that he got home safely, then drove to my home. Plows had been through, and the driveways were blocked; so I got the Jeep aimed at the driveway and rammed it into the mound as far as it would go, to get it off the road for the night. Time on the clock when I walked in to a frantic Mom in the house, was 10:30pm! (Time leaving Lexington was a little after Noon)

State of Emergency was called, all traffic was banned if not part of relief or emergency service efforts. After digging my Jeep out, I volunteered for the Civil Defense, using my wheels to deliver meds and provisions to homes. Back out on that route 128, hundreds of vehicles were snowed over right where they were on the highway, and over the next several days, were exhumed and extracted by earth moving machinery. Sadly, some people that did not abandon their vehicles, perished.

Hurricane force winds were clocked during the most intense part of the storm. It was a classic and unusually potent Nor'easter, that got jammed in place off the coast by another low pressure system, and it kept getting fed moisture from the sea waters. Definitely one to remember.
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TVGuy22
post Oct 8 2010, 02:49 PM
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I was 11 during the Blizzard of 78, so that was fantastic sledding (once we got the trail packed down).

My son was conceived in the aftermath of the Jan 96 storm. wink.gif


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PSUWeatherNewbie
post Oct 14 2010, 06:10 PM
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Top 3 Snowstorms I can remember:
1.) Blizzard of 2005 January 21-23 2005
2.) December 26-27, 2004 Day after Christmas Snowstorm
3.) President's Day II Snowstorm February 16-18, 2003 and a runner up is the January 6-8, 1996 Blizzard

Blizzard of 2005 was an amazing snowstorm for me IMBY (Cape Cod, MA). That Blizzard started out as a Pacific Low Pressure center that moved into British Columbia, Canada on the 20th of January 2005. Some rain and snow began to break out over the Northern states, most appreciably, Montana and Idaho on the 21st. On the 20th models broke away from the idea of any possible major snowstorm to impact the region after days of forecasting the snowstorm over the region. It was the week of the high school sophmore's mid terms as well. Let's just say I had other things to focus on besides the finals here. I don't remember how well I did on the finals, goes to show where my focus really was at that time. Anyways I was following Henry Margusity on his meteo madness blog and he mentioned the prospects of a big time snowstorm for New England at that time, but also mentioned that the models no longer had the storm that Thursday. It was forecasted to get real cold, so we all know that the cold weather was in place for a big storm to form.

As you can see surface pressures are pooling over Southern Montana and Idaho on that Thursday morning, the signs of the beginning of our massive snowstorm. I went to school that day as well where the weather was anything but pleasant. Cold bone chilling air mass over the region as seen on the surface temperature plots for Thursday morning.

After school ended and coming home on the bus (an hour and 15 minute ride every morning and afternoon) I excitingly could not wait to see what the afternoon updated models would show us, again my weather source at that time was HM's daily blog entries and the NWS website AFD discussions. As I got home I saw that the models were inching more and more towards the idea of a greater impact snowstorm for the region. NWS forecasts were getting clearer that there was indeed a storm coming, but the impacts were supposed to be from a glancing storm system, not one of full fury. The system began to gain steam over the Northern Plains and snow began to break out across the Dakotas that evening. Still cold arctic dry air mass over the northeast and Great Lakes, to the north of this Alberta Clipper system. Still excited high school sophmore, who was greatly anticipating the next historical snowstorm to only see his hopes and fantasies drift away everytime something good looked like it was coming our way.

The next morning was upon us, and too excited I couldn't wait to see if anything changed on the morning AFD's from Taunton NWS office. Unfortunately nothing but a Special Weather Statement was issued headlining that a potential winter storm was possible for the region. Of course our storm to storm worries was the rain/snow line and the amounts we were anticipating, but the ingredients were absolutely there for a potentially historical snowstorm.

(ie: example: airmass still bone chilling cold and dry over the Northeast and Great Lakes with precip breaking out across the MN, WI and Dakotas states).

Surface pressures that morning as well, highlighting the strengthening surface low over the Midwest and central plains states with an arctic front located along the MN/IA line.

Friday brought a quick school day to an end. I was on my way home for an exciting revelation into the potential nor'easter, the B word was being thrown around on blogs and what not. It was an exciting time for this high schooler. I was supposed to go to Washington D.C., but that never panned out for us. I came home and saw that the NWS office had issued a winter storm watch, the potential exists for >6" of snow to accumulation within the next 36 hours. It was a fun time, and HM had BOS in his 24" plateau. I was truly excited. Class mates asked about the potential storm that Friday and I told them, the potential is there for a snowstorm to occur. You know the diplomatic solution that needs to be ingrained into the minds of young wannabe meteorologists.

Saturday morning was still bone chilling cold over the region and it was horrible, but necessary in order for the Outer Cape to remain all snow. The NWS issued the winter storm warnings for most of SNE, especially eastern locations and we were excited, my siblings and I, especially with the prospects of having school closed on Monday. As morning turned to forenoon, the next updated models were in showing still the large prospects for a massive winter storm over New England, especially SNE. I was sent outside around 1 or 2pm by my father to bring the firewood into the basement and I was stuck doing it myself, and I was mad, because I had the chance to watch this unfold on the computer.

I completed the task and man was it cold. Had to wear at least three layers of clothing. It was brutal, still about the coldest airmass I have ever witnessed here on Cape Cod, MA. Temperatures were in the 10s and 20s for highs and -10s to 0 for early morning lows. It was brutal, the Midwest and Great lakes regions were getting blitzed with incredibly heavy snows, lake enhanced 16-17" amounts in the favorable northeast flow belts off of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. It was amazing to see such heavy snows for such a moisture starved low, but again there was some GOM moisture available to the low, but a low activity sub tropical jet kept this from becoming a major, perhaps category five snowstorm, only two in existence from the NESIS scale, which were the Superstorm of 93 and the Great North American Blizzard of January 6-8, 1996.

That afternoon snow began to fall around 4pm EDT and the winter storm warnings were upgraded to heavy snow warnings and Blizzard Watches for Barnstable, Dukes, Bristol and Plymouth counties in Massachusetts.


These images show us where the surface low is located, the mid level disturbance that will be responsible for the explosive cyclogenesis of the surface low and the extremely cold temperatures available for an all out snowstorm, even on Nantucket, MA. The mid level (500mb) disturbance is known as a Manitoba Mauler which comes into the US directly out of Manitoba, Canada. This disturbance was the key system in jeopardy for the models to figure out future forecasts and a reason they lost the snowstorm on Thursday. Snow began to fall lightly around 4pm as flurries and light snow, but just a few hours later, we were in a snow blitz. THe main system yet to form and most of the snow was originally from the primary surface low (alberta clipper) which weakened over western NY and transferred its energy to the coast, near the Delmarva peninsula, where rapid cyclogenesis began to occur. As this process began so did the heaviest snows, we got roughly 12" by 12am Sunday morning as the transfer to the coast was completed.


Blizzard Warnings were issued Saturday evening and we were in the worst snowstorm to hit Cape Cod, MA since record keeping was kept and records were reliable enough. Unbelieveable snowfall rates and temperatures peaked at 30F that night. Nantucket, MA lost power as they officially measured an 84mph wind gust before they lost power do to the power of the winds and the heavy nature of their 24" snows. Winds gusted close to hurricane force on Cape Cod, MA but at least I did not lose power at all which was amazing, the dry consistency to the snow was what potentially saved us from losing power. The all out whiteout was full blown Sunday morning as the surface low had eye like characteristics, but technically not an eye because there was no convection present. The storm deepened from: 999mb on

Mid level low closed off and created an environment totally favorable to rapid snowfall rate productions as optimal dendrite snowfall growth coincided with the heaviest precip rates and QPF totals. Dentrite snowflakes are best snowflakes for rapid accumulations of snow as they stick quickly and the atmosphere is in prime snowfall production.

Here is the setup for the massive blizzard, along with the optimal 500mb pattern: the surface pattern was optimal as well:
Gulf Stream Oscillation and Northwest Atlantic Ocean Index and baroclinic zone setup

The GSO measures the location of the optimally abnormal positive SST anomaly pool which corresponds to the theorized location of the baroclinic zone as ocean or maritime modified airmass over the region from 60-75w longitude to 35-45n latitude is in prime location favorable for nor'easters and the rapid cyclogenesis that occurs with miller B type snowstorms. precipitation output was founded to have doubled once the storm reached this warm pool and created an explosive cyclogenetic environment which allowed the surface low to rapidly deepen 32mb in 16 hours from January 23rd 00z to January 23rd 16z in which the low deepened from 999mb to 967mb. The hot pool was central based which corresponded to a neutral index in which the warm pool was located within 65-70w and 35-40n. Also there was a lingering SST positive anomaly in the west based region from 70-75w and 35-40n which was an eddy that broke off of the Gulf Stream in an early part of that year and lingered into the summer months. No hurricanes came close enough to New England to feed off of this eddy, but this blizzard had and we got an extreme crippling snowstorm, category five for SNE, while it was a three for everyone else.

500mb setup was quite favorable for a massively amplified pattern which would feature a Manitoba Mauler disturbance. Strong positive height anomaly over the western US was in large part do to the presence of a positive PNA index, which is a Pacific North American ridge present over the western US coastline and adjacent northeastern Pacific waters which equated to a positive EPO and -GOA or Gulf of Alaska index in which a low pressure was present or cold phase of the PDO. With such an alignment and Baja, CA cutoff upper low pressure present to the southwest of the ridge axis, this favored the location of the Pacific jet stream plowing into British Columbia, Canada forcing warm or mild pacific airmass into the area forcing a warm temperature anomaly over western Canada and a below normal temperature anomalies over most of the rest of North America. The location of the polar vortex (-AO index) over Hudson Bay, allowed energy from the vortex into the eastern US trough responsible for the rapidly favorable cyclogenetic pattern for a surface low to bomb out or explode off the US east coast. +NAO index led to the rather short duration, less than 30 hours of snowfall to occur and a less impactful heaviest snowfall totals and coastal flooding duration which kept it from being one of the downright most impactful snowstorms ahead of the 1978 Blizzard, however the +NAO anomaly over Greenland did not allow the pattern to slow down enough and therefore those highest potential impacts were not felt across the region. The mid level ridging from the Central Atlantic Ridge into Atlantic Canada allowed the trough to dig towards a negative tilt and develop into a mid level closed low. There was no ear marks of any presence of Greenland Blocking which kept this pattern dominated by the polar/arctic jets and with no presence of the sub tropical jet stream this storm maximized its efforts while over the GSO high heat anomalies that were again central based with the presence of an eddy over the western based region.

This post has been edited by PSUWeatherNewbie: Oct 15 2010, 03:11 PM
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post Oct 17 2010, 01:08 PM
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This past January 2-3rd 2010. when we got 33.1" here in Burlington, VT from one storm. it was great. both my wifes car and mine were not visible. was the most epic storm ive been a part of anyway.
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okie333
post Oct 17 2010, 03:36 PM
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December 24, 2009. First blizzard warning ever for Tulsa.

This post has been edited by okie333: Oct 17 2010, 03:36 PM


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PSUWeatherNewbie
post Oct 18 2010, 05:18 PM
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Blizzard of 2009, December 18-20th 2009 Snowstorm.
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NYCSuburbs
post Oct 19 2010, 10:14 PM
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Well, last winter changed everything. My favorite storm now is the late February 2010 blizzard, or "snowicane". My total of 20" was actually higher than that of the 2006 blizzard IMBY. And almost the whole storm happened with temperatures near freezing, during the whole first part of the storm the rain/snow line was barely a few miles to my north/east, almost on top of me, even though I never changed over.

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an uncanny otter
post Oct 23 2010, 03:42 PM
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The first winter storm that comes to mind when I think of the "best" is the one we got from December 22-23, 2004.

I was only 11 years old so I don't remember much of the context behind the storm. I don't think it was even really that noteworthy actually. But life was going absolutely fantastic for me at the time, and Christmas was three days away, so that made the storm so much more special.

Before the storm, we had no snow on the ground at all. It was looking like it was going to be a green Christmas. But out of nowhere, that storm came and dumped at least 50 cm on us overnight, and everything changed. Yeah, sure, we spent the entire day shovelling driveways, but I didn't care, because I was the happiest kid in the world. That storm will always be remembered fondly smile.gif

Another I can remember as coming as a surprise was a storm we received from April 23-24, 2005. It was the same winter as the storm before (although it was technically spring) and, being a week away from May, everybody was sure we were done with winter. But that obviously wasn't the case, because we got a freak snowstorm that gave us almost 30 cm of wet, slushy snow. It's still the only significant April snow I can remember, really.
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post Nov 5 2010, 06:39 PM
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Blizzard of 05 for me aswell biggrin.gif
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kpk33x
post Nov 6 2010, 11:54 AM
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Of course, having 3 storms of over 20" apiece in less than 2 months this past winter goes down as the recordsetter. But as an adult you see things differently, and spending 3 days outside snowblowing (although there are YouTube videos of my Husky pulling me down the street in a kid's sled) - snow loses a little of its magic. Don't get me wrong, I still get just as excited as a kid, but I can't enjoy the aftermath as much especially given the sore back and having to go back to work all too soon.

The standout storm of my youth was the Feb. 10-11, 1983 storm which hit just before my 8th birthday. Between that storm and "Energy Conservation Week" (remember that?) we didn't go to school for almost 2 weeks. We got a little over 2 feet and my brother and I spent several days digging tunnels, making snow forts, having snowball fights with our friends, and not having a care in the world.

The most unusual storm was the Nov. 11, 1987 storm which dumped over a foot of very heavy/wet snow on us. It is rare for accumulating snow in November in Baltimore (1978, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, and 2005 is about it, with only '78 and '89 as the two others with more than an inch). It was a complete surprise. My friends and I played snow football in thundersnow, and later made what was a lot of money then shoveling 2-3 walks. I spent the weekend "snowboarding" at another friend's house.

I do remember going through the Blizzard of 2003 (about 28") and telling myself I may never get to see snow like that again. Little did I know I would see about that much 3x in one winter, including 2x in 5 days that created a snow cover of 3.5 feet at one time.

This post has been edited by kpk33x: Nov 6 2010, 11:55 AM


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Autumn 2017 - Mahomet, IL

First day with...
...Low below 40F: Oct. 16
...Frost: Oct. 25
...First sub-freezing low: Oct. 29
...Snow reported: Oct. 28

Foliage: As close to peak as we'll see here (Nov. 4)
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Undertakerson
post Nov 15 2010, 07:09 PM
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Storm of the Century I - 1993

Last winter's February twin terrors - just because they occured so close to each other 40+ from the one two punch.
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Noreastericane
post Nov 16 2010, 10:13 AM
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I've lived in MD all my life... here's my top five!

1. The big three blizzards of '09-'10: Dec. 18-19, Feb. 5-6, & Feb. 9-10

2. Jan. 1996

3. Feb. 2003

4. Jan. 2000

5. Jan. & Feb. 1994 ice storms & extreme cold (it was called "The Big Chill of '94" back in the day)


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Sagebrusher
post Nov 16 2010, 05:43 PM
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The April '73 Iowa Blizzard. Even though I was only 3, I vividly remember the giant snowdrifts that went up and over the two-story apartment building I lived in.
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okie333
post Nov 20 2010, 03:04 PM
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The blizzard. For this location, there is no need to say which one, as there has only been one since the inception of the Blizzard Warning system.

(FYI, it was on 2009-12-24).

This post has been edited by okie333: Nov 20 2010, 03:05 PM


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Ithiel
post Nov 23 2010, 12:39 AM
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The Blizzard of '99. The 16" of snow I measured in my front yard on New Years day was the most I had ever observed in a single snow event my then-ten years of life here in Southwest Detroit, and that record still stands today.

I will forever remember the new EAS warnings on the TV when DTX issued the blizzard warning, and when the winds roared in advance of the storm and the first few flakes started. The snow was heavy and wet and my Dad had to shovel snow off of the roof as temperatures rose to around freezing when the storm began to wane.

I believe that was the last time the city of Detroit was ever under a blizzard warning.
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so_whats_happeni...
post Nov 23 2010, 03:34 PM
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Of course last year was pretty epic for my area giving us near 40"+ in the month of February alone.

But overall the best storm I have seen was February of '03. Dropped a little over 3 feet of snow over a 2-day span. I remember not being able to see over the snow piles walking to the bus stop and the snow was up to my waist as I was walking through it. Pretty awesome storm! Week off from school.

Can't forget the Valentine's Day storm of '07 when the area had 6-8" of pure sleet with 3-6" of snow and freezing rain to coat the top of it. Off from school for a week.

This post has been edited by so_whats_happening: Nov 23 2010, 03:35 PM


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LoveNYCSnow
post Nov 27 2010, 06:09 PM
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Blizzard of 96 and last years snowicane were the most impressive storms I can remember, I was in Florida during the 06 blizzard sad.gif .


I also don't know much about this storm but if anyone whos older might know, I know when I was about 5 or 6 years old there was a storm that was predicted to bring rain to NYC with temps in the 40s and very unexpectedly the temp dropped into the 30s and rain changed to heavy snow and it snowed all day and we ended up with several inches of snow. If someone from the area has any idea what i'm talking about please let me know.

This post has been edited by LoveNYCSnow: Nov 27 2010, 06:10 PM


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2013-2014 Snowfall

11/26- Snow to Rain, dusting
12/6- Rain to Sleet to Snow, dusting
12/9- Light Snow to ZR, dusting
12/10- Light Snow, 1 inch
12/14- Snow to sleet, 8.5 inches
12/17- Moderate Snow, 4.5 inches
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Ithiel
post Dec 4 2010, 03:39 AM
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I also want to echo the OP who mentioned the 2005 storm, I think it was on January 22nd? Or something around there. I measured exactly 14 inches in my front yard too which is inside the city of Detroit, it was an amazing storm and as far as I know the 2nd biggest snowfall in my lifetime. To top it off, we also got thundersnow and whiteout conditions at one point during the early morning, as the temperature plummeted to about 9F.
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garn
post Dec 8 2010, 08:53 AM
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Mine happened a year ago today.

http://www.dsmweather.com/climate-info/on-this-date-ia-wx

QUOTE
2009: A powerful winter storm produced heavy snow across most of Iowa on December 8-9, with the highest storm total accumulations of 12 or more inches occurring in a wide swath from southwest to northeast across the state. The statewide average storm total snowfall of 10.2 inches was the highest since 1971 and the third-highest on record in Iowa. The highest reported accumulations around the state included 15.5 inches at Des Moines, 16.0 inches at Atlantic and Belle Plaine, 16.2 inches at Corning and Osceola, and 17.0 inches at Knoxville. At Des Moines this was the fourth-heaviest snow storm on record behind the December blizzard of 1888, the New Years storm of 1942, and the blizzard of March 2004. Strong northwest winds pushed into the region on the back side of the storm, producing blizzard or near blizzard conditions in many areas as well as widespread blowing and drifting of snow making many roads impassible. Wind chills as low as -31 F were recorded at Mason City on the 9th and by the morning of the 10th the temperature fell all the way to -10 F at Little Sioux. This storm set the tone for a winter that would be characterized by frequent snowfalls and persistent deep snow pack across most of Iowa.
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BaltimoreWeather...
post Dec 14 2010, 09:24 PM
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1. 2010 February Blizzards. The first one dumped 30 inches!

2. 1996 Blizzard. 4 foot snowdrifts!

3. 2003 Blizzard.

Special Mention goes to -

1983 Blizzard. This was my first blizzard that I remember. I was only 6 at the time, and I remember jumping backwards into the snow from the just-sholved sidewalk and sank right down! laugh.gif

1993 Superstorm. Everything was glazed in ice, not to mention the fact that a broken water main contributed to the problem. Favorite quote from the radio announcer, after announcing something like 100 closings, "...Maryland is closed today!".
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