The great blizzard of 1888 m gasol nba


The blizzard which struck the Northeast on March 12-14, 1888, had been preceded by a very cold winter. Record low temperatures had been recorded across North America, and a potent blizzard had pummeled the upper Midwest in January of the year.

The storm, in New York City, began as a steady rain on Sunday, March 11, 1888. Shortly after midnight, in the early hours of March 12, the temperature dropped below freezing and the rain turned to sleet and then heavy snow. The Storm Caught Major Cities By Surprise

As the city slept, the snowfall intensified. Early Monday morning people awoke to a startling scene. Enormous drifts of snow were blocking the streets and horse-drawn wagons couldn’t move. By mid-morning the busiest shopping districts of the city were virtually deserted.

The conditions in New York were atrocious, and things were not much better to the south, in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The major cities of the East Coast, which had been connected by telegraph for four decades, were suddenly cut off from each other as telegraph wires were severed.

Several factors combined to make the Blizzard of ’88 particularly deadly. The temperatures were extremely low for March, plummeting to nearly zero in New York City. And the wind was intense, measured at a sustained speed of 50 miles per hour.

The accumulations of snow were enormous. In Manhattan the snowfall was estimated at 21 inches, but the stiff winds made it accumulate in huge drifts. In upstate New York, Saratoga Springs reported a snowfall of 58 inches. Throughout New England the snow totals ranged from 20 to 40 inches.

"The man was frozen dead and had evidently lain there for hours," the newspaper said. Identified as a wealthy businessman, George Baremore, the dead man had apparently been trying to walk to his office on Monday morning and collapsed while fighting the wind and snow.

A powerful New York politician, Roscoe Conkling, nearly died while walking up Broadway from Wall Street. At one point, according to a newspaper account, the former U.S. Senator and perennial Tammany Hall adversary became disoriented and stuck in a snowdrift. He managed to struggle to safety and was helped to his residence. But the ordeal of struggling in the snow had damaged his health so badly that he died a month later.

As the storm hit New York City on a Monday, following a day when shops were closed, many households had low supplies of milk, bread, and other necessities. Newspapers published when the city was essentially isolated reflected a sense of panic. There was speculation that that food shortages would become widespread. The word "famine" even appeared in news stories.

On March 14, 1888, two days after the worst of the storm, the front page of the New York Tribune carried a detailed story about potential food shortages. The newspaper noted that many of the city’s hotels were well-provisioned: The Fifth Avenue Hotel, for instance, claims that it is beyond the reach of a famine, no matter how long the storm may last. Mr. Darling’s representative said last evening that their immense ice-house was full of all the good things necessary for the complete running of the house; that the vaults still contained coal enough to last until the 4th of July, and that there was on hand a ten days’ supply of milk and cream.

As bad as the storm was, it seems New York residents simply endured it and were soon returning to normal. Newspaper reports described efforts to remove large snowdrifts and a sense of purpose in getting shops opened and businesses operating as before.