Depending on where in the state you live, you are either rolling your eyes at the “hype” over the blizzard… or you’re still shoveling yourself out. A state divided today. Eastern parts of the state saw a few inches to a foot while those in western parts of the state were slammed with two feet. Either way, this storm is significantly less “historic” than predicted.
That being said, what were the biggest storms in Connecticut history? These were…
The Great Blizzard of 1888
With winds between 60 and 70 miles per hour, it was near impossible to really figure out how much snow fell because the snow drifts were incredible. There are reports that Middletown had 50 inches while New Hartford reported 42 inches. Cheshire had a snow drift that was over 38 feet tall. The blizzard claimed 400 CT resident’s lives including two women who tried to walk home in the storm from the Bridgeport factory where they worked. They didn’t want to get a reputation by staying at the factory “in mixed company” and were found dead clutching each other in the snow. This storm took place from March 11-14- A reminder that mid-March is certainly still storm time in CT.
The Hurricane of 1938
Still considered by many to be Connecticut’s worst natural disaster, it took many by surprise and left over 600 people dead. Not only did it destroy Katharine Hepburn’s summer home in Saybrook, she herself barely escaped with her life. It was the deadliest and most expensive storm in Connecticut’s history.
Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library
The Ice Storm of 1973
On December 16th the rain started and didn’t end for 24 hours. What had happened was that the temperature rapidly increased to 50 degrees but because of the cold air on the ground, everything turned into a sheet of ice. Ice on the ground was measuring over half an inch. The weight of the ice was too much for the trees which caused major power lines being brought to the ground. One third of the state was without power with many residents going an entire week before it would be restored.
On September 8th, 1985, a category 2 hurricane hit Connecticut with the brunt of the storm stretching from Milford down to Westport. Boats were washed ashore and it remains the worst power outage in Connecticut history with over two million people without power. The name “Gloria” has been retired.
RICHARD MEI / HARTFORD COURANT
Blizzard of 2013 (Blizzard Charlotte)
Maybe too fresh in many of our minds is the blizzard of just a few years ago. Parts of the state saw 40 inches of snow with an overall average between two and three feet. I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, it was the most snowfall in Connecticut that we had ever seen in our lifetime.
Sandy… Irene… Sure, those were terrible but think about the fact that those were not even category ONE storms when they hit our shorelines. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that today’s snow “bust” is the worst we’ll get this winter.