Hudson Valley Snowpocalypse: The Great Blizzard of 1888

Had enough snow? What we’ve experienced this winter seems like a dusting compared to the storm of ’88

What’s that I hear? It’s the collective sigh of relief as we all realize that March ushers in spring — and not a moment too soon. While this snowy winter has been one for the record books, the Valley has never seen a storm quite like the Great Blizzard of 1888. One of the most severe blizzards in U.S. history, this four-day tempest began its reign of terror on March 11, ravaging parts of the Northeast with wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour and more than 50 inches of snow in some places. In his memoirs, Harry Briggs of Hyde Park recalled “snowdrifts up to the height of telegraph lines and having to tunnel to get from home to street.” The Capital Region had the highest recorded snowfall. Albany’s official tally was 47.7 inches, while Saratoga took top honors with 58 inches of the white stuff.

On March 13, the Albany Evening Union wrote: “No business. No tracking. No car travel. No legislature. No matinees. No coal delivered. No railroad trains. No private telegraph. No Boston connection. No milk. Nobody dares to be told that the blizzard with a big B has struck the town. Everybody knows it. Last night was bad enough, but today is worse.”

See, this winter isn’t so awful after all. But we still wish you a very happy spring.

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