Okay. I will give away my age. Does anyone else remember the Blizzard that hit the Northeast in 1978? It was compared to the Blizzard of 1888, and I’m NOT old enough to have experienced that one. Of course the ability to communicate, predict the storm, clear the mess deposited (snow, freezing rain, etc.), look for people stranded and all storm-related things were not comparable to the 20th century storm. In Connecticut on February 6,7, 1978 the governor closed the roads to non-essential people so they could be open for emergency personnel and essential workers, like hospital, nursing home, electric, water company suppliers, etc.. To say it was a nasty storm with many lengthy power outages and injuries and deaths, is an understatement.
The storm we are in now started around 9:00 AM at my house in Connecticut about twelve miles from the border with Massachusetts. “Charlotte” is coming from the south, as did the storm of 1978, so people at the shoreline and other places south of us, got hit first and hardest, in my opinion. There hurricane force winds not only blew snow, but also drove flood waters that brought terrible destruction.
The meteorologists are comparing the storm that is blanketing a lot of New England, parts of New York state and New Jersey to that storm. That is their expectation by the time it leaves this area sometime tomorrow afternoon, hopefully. Certainly the technology we have now will bring a huge difference in ability to get people to stay in if possible, go to an emergency shelter if need be as early as possible, especially people with medical needs requiring electricity unless they have generators. There are many more emergency shelters available. We got emergency preparedness pre-recorded phone calls from the electric company and the water company yesterday. Many schools and businesses closed for today, making announcements yesterday. Stores were horrible to navigate yesterday as everyone stocked up on necessities. The governor told non-essential state workers to stay home, all DOT plow operators put chains on their tires in preparedness for the ice that likely formed as the snow hit the frozen ground. I imagine most of the private contractors working this event did the same. All available linemen and tree removal personnel are ready and requests have been made to states in other regions for help. Cell phones are everywhere and people (like us) with generators or in emergency shelters can charge them. We’re much more prepared, thanks to modern technology, than in 1978. That was the last time, maybe the only time, the state was shut down. We have no need to go anywhere and we’re not.
In 1978, however, I was a nurse’s aide in a nursing home, essential personnel. So I picked up others afraid to drive, going about 8 miles north for two workers to go southeast to our workplace. On arrival I was told it was necessary for someone to drive into Hartford on the other side of the river I had just crossed, to get nurses. No four-wheel drive then, I had a Nova!! Young and reckless. The streets of our capital city were not plowed, but in I went to get them, doing the whole thing in reverse after 16 hour shifts. Once I refused and we all stayed, sleeping on the floors. Did you know that storms like that effect people who have mental illnesses more than the full moon? (It is true about the moon, by the way) I was chosen by two different men in two different areas of the large facility to be assaulted. Like I said, reckless. Once only I fishtailed into a guardrail with a plow approaching me, but I righted the direction and traveled on. I had a lot of guardian angels that day!! This is what the roads looked like.
I sure hope the meteorologists are wrong. How are things where you are? I’d love to hear.