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The 1993 Storm of the Century

On March 12, 1993, another great “Nor’easter” began and continued until the 15th – the Blizzard of 1993 or, as some have called it, “the Storm of the Century”. The storm moved from the Gulf of Mexico up into and finally blew itself out and away from the shores of Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Snow began to fall across the eastern portion of the U.S.A. with tornadoes, thunder snowstorms, high winds, and record low temperatures. Snow fell along a massive line the length of the eastern seaboard. The storm lasted for three days. Heavy seas ran to 19 m (65 ft) in pockets of the Atlantic. Winds gusted up to 130 kph (81 mph). They blew drifts to over 3 m (10 ft) in high elevations. Record low temperatures had been set from Florida to New Brunswick. Highway, rail, and air traffic had closed down.

By the storm’s end, over 300 people were dead or missing. Towns and rural areas were isolated for days. Rescues had taken place at sea, in mountain communities, and along flooding shores.

However, although the population had grown since the “Great White Hurricane of 1888”, modern buildings are more weather resistant, highways and bridges are better drained, and communication systems are more sophisticated.1993 meteorologists were able to predict the system’s massive power five days in advance, giving government agencies and utility workers time to prepare and citizens time to stock emergency supplies and equipment. Warnings and advance preparation remain our best survival tools. Weather events cannot be stopped.

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage