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Great Blizzard of 1888

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Author Topic: Great Blizzard of 1888  (Read 479 times)
Victoria Liss
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« on: November 04, 2010, 01:25:55 pm »

Effects
The storm, referred to as the Great White Hurricane, paralyzed the East Coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine,[3] as well as the Atlantic provinces of Canada.[1] Telegraph infrastructure was disabled, isolating Montreal and most of the large northeastern U.S. cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston for days. Following the storm, New York began placing its telegraph and telephone infrastructure underground to prevent their destruction. From Chesapeake Bay through the New England area, over 200 ships were either grounded or wrecked, resulting in the deaths of at least 100 seamen.[5]

In New York, neither rail nor road transport was possible anywhere for days,[6] and drifts across the New York — New Haven rail line at Westport, Connecticut took eight days to clear; transportation gridlock as a result of the storm was partially responsible for the creation of the first underground subway system in the United States, which opened nine years later in Boston.[7]

Fire stations were immobilized, and property loss from fire alone was estimated at $25 million.[6] Severe flooding occurred after the storm due to melting snow, especially in the Brooklyn area, which was more susceptible to serious flooding due to its topography.[5] Efforts were made to push the snow into the Atlantic Ocean. Over 400 people died from the storm and the ensuing cold, including 200 in New York City alone.[8][5] Among them was former U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling.

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