Nature February 06, 2019
131 Years Ago, Massachusetts Was Hit With The Worst Blizzard In History
People in Massachusetts are used to harsh winters. Snow, sleet, and endless shoveling is nothing new to us. However, there was one terrifying blizzard that struck the Bay State that no one was prepared for. The Blizzard of 1888 was one of the worst storms to ever hit the United States, and it devastated Massachusetts.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
The Blizzard of 1888 was known as "The Great White Hurricane."
It began shortly after on March 12 and was actually preceded by a few days of unusually warm weather. Because of this and due to the late date of the storm, people in Massachusetts weren’t prepared for this intense storm.
After the snow began falling in the wee hours of March 12, it didn’t stop for a full day and a half.
The National Weather Service estimates that as much as 50 inches (yes, that’s over four feet) fell in Massachusetts over the course of the storm. Road transport wasn’t possible for days, and pets that were left outside froze to death.
Snow drifts were said to average about 30 to 40 feet in height!
Many homes were slowly consumed as the hours of snowfall continued. The highest drift recorded was 58 feet, and some drifts covered three-story homes. Winds howled at more than 80 miles and hour and all road and rail transport halted. Temperatures were among the coldest reported in years.
The aftermath of the storm was severe.
More than 400 people were killed by the blizzard. Roads and train tracks were covered by ice and snow for more than a week. In fact, this storm was partly responsible for the creation of the first underground system in America – the Boston subway. Over 200 ships were grounded or wrecked. After the blizzard, the state worked to make sure emergency responders would be better able to handle subsequent storms. It took months for Massachusetts to recover from this monster blizzard.
Though the Blizzard of 1888 is long past, its effects can still be felt today. Of course, this isn’t the only natural disaster this state has faced.
Here’s the story behind the Blizzard of 1978.