Fatal snowstorm wipes out Northeast with record-breaking weather this past weekend
Published: Monday, February 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 09:02
"The snowplow guys asked if I was open. I said, 'if you can get the doors open, I am,' " Ruh said, laughing.
New York City accumulated 8.1 inches of snow in Central Park. Hours after the storm passed, the main airports, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia, reopened for limited service. Grand Central Terminal, which had canceled travel during the storm, resumed service on the Harlem and Hudson lines at 11:20 a.m. Saturday, but travel to hard-hit Connecticut had not been resumed.
In midtown Manhattan, motorists largely heeded Bloomberg's advice to stay off the roads, leaving stretches of Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue virtually car-free in the early morning hours. But the streets quickly began to fill with tourists who came out to find the streets and sidewalks largely cleared of snow.
Steve Holton, 52, an Episcopal priest, and his wife, Charlotte, skied across Central Park. "It's wonderful, as you can see: only six or eight inches, just right for cross-country skiing," he said. "It's perfect, just at freezing so the snow is going to last, at least until it turns into slush, which always happens in New York."
The storm was popular at the ski resort in Stowe, Vt., which got about two feet of extra snow at the top of the mountain and 18 inches at the base. The snow was falling so fast Friday that workers grooming the trails were barely able to keep up. By Saturday, however, with the storm gone, the skiing was excellent.
Janet Bass of Bethesda, Md. was in Stowe for a long weekend with her husband and teenage daughter.
"We came up a day early [Thursday] to beat the storm, and it worked out great. Lots of powder . . . great ski conditions," Bass said.
The 312-room Stowe Mountain Lodge was fully booked Saturday night and had only two rooms empty on Friday. Bookings for the rest of the season jumped.
"Typically what happens when we get a storm like this is the phone starts ringing immediately, and that's what happened here, for future bookings," said Richard McLennan, managing director of the lodge.
In the Boston area, many residents seemed to take the historic storm in stride, even as it buried their cars, shut down public transit, and closed nearly all shops and restaurants.
"I grew up in Maine. I don't have a nervous breakdown when this happens," said James Woodman, 55, a music composer, as he took a break from shoveling a path to his home in Cambridge, Mass.
He said he had stocked up in advance on four storm essentials: Triscuits, peanut butter, vodka and toilet paper. "I could last a week now," he said.
Roads were nearly empty on Saturday, with only tow trucks, snowplows, city maintenance vehicles and the occasional van barreling through.
"It's been 24 hours with no sleep," said Louis Luciano of the Cambridge city traffic department as he paused in his truck from clearing parking lots and sidewalks.
Was he exhausted?
"We're warriors!" he bellowed.
The drone of snowblowers filled the air as homeowners and maintenance workers struggled to carve paths through the snow. But amid the drudgery, there was also a sense of wonder at the magnitude and beauty of the snow.
At Harvard University, a few students were gliding across campus on cross-country skis. One stomped through drifts in snowshoes. Angela Zhang, 18, a freshman, was clutching a cafeteria tray and searching for the perfect hill.
"I'm from California," she said. "This is the first one of these I've ever seen."