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Column for 3.9.2011
Somebody just said to me, “Uncle.” Then this person said, “I’ve had enough.”
She was talking about snow. Most people, maybe even some skiers and snowmobilers, have had enough and are looking forward to spring.
What you are reading is being written on Monday. I went to bed Sunday night and it was snowing. I woke up this morning and it was snowing, although it has stopped now and the sun is shining.
Be that as it may, Sheriff Robert Maciol declared a snow emergency in Oneida County. There have been whiteout conditions in some parts of the county, numerous vehicles were off the road and there have been accidents.
The City of Utica declared a “Snow Emergency,” Lewis County Sheriff Michael Tabolt issued a “No Unnecessary Travel” advisory, as did the sheriff of Madison County.
Although I try not to be a “I-used-to-walk-20-miles-a-day-to-school-in-10-feet-of-snow-without-boots-or-a-hat” kind of person, I must say this latest storm isn’t all that bad.
As proof, I have in front of me a copy of the February 3, 1966 issue of the Boonville Herald. The front page headline: “Heaviest Continuous Snow Since 1947 Dumps 42 inches in Area,” which, if my math is correct, means three and a half feet.
The article’s first paragraph: “The heaviest continuous snow storm since March 1947, dumped 42 inches of snow from 4:30 a.m. Sunday to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Boonville area, Livingston Lansing reported this Wednesday.”
Livingston Lansing, who was responsible for all sorts of good things for the community, including keeping weather statistics, also reported this:
“The snowfall recorded at the Jackson Hill weather station was 12 inches Sunday, 17 inches Monday, and 13 inches Tuesday.” He went on to say that during the previous week there had been nearly four inches on Monday, three inches Thursday, and six inches Friday.
Add it up and you get 55 inches in less than two weeks. That’s pretty good - or bad - depending on how you view snow.
But the Blizzard of ’66 was even worse for those living to the west. A total of 103≤ of snow was recorded at Oswego, 50≤ of that fell on the last day of the storm alone. And 50≤ of snow was also recorded at Camden on that same day.
Syracuse got 42 inches between January 29th and February 1st of the Great Blizzard.
And there were high winds, causing drifts up to roofs, and closing roads minutes after plows had gone through.
Keep in mind that back in 1966 few people had snowblowers or four-wheel drive vehicles.
I remember being snowed in for four days during that ’66 storm. We ran out of all sorts of things, including bread, milk and patience.
But before someone accuses me of being a “gloomy Gus,” I’ll point out that “spring is right around the corner.” I hope those aren’t famous last words because I’m crying Uncle, too.