The winds howled. The snow was intense reducing visabilities across the countryside. Power was knocked out for many. Roads were impassable. These were the conditions across Litchfield county Sunday night as a major Nor’easter made its way up the coast giving the entire region a real winter wallop! As the winds peaked, so too did the snow drifts that were being created, many topping off at over 2 feet! The storm that we all had been watching for well over a week made its way to the northeast impacting holiday travel conditions for many folks who became stranded at airports across the country. Those of us who are weather geeks became distracted from our holiday cheer on Christmas afternoon as the models were really coming together and forming an agreement that this storm was going to pack a punch, and we shouldn’t take it lightly.
Saturday afternoon Winter Storm Warnings were issued across the state later turning into Blizzard Warnings. As weather geeks, our fear was growing as we reminded ourselves that there are holiday travelers out there who will be making their way back to the state and have not been paying attention to media outlets all day as they spent quality time with friends and family. The push became urgent to deliver the message quickly across as many social sites as possible to get the word out to folks to make travel arrangements as soon as possible. Yes, on Christmas day we became so distracted from holiday cheer, that we became consumed into what this storm was going to bring. We all knew that it was going to significantly impact our region, the question was how soon will things begin to deteriorate.
Before leaving my house on Christmas night for work, I checked in with the computer models to see the latest on the storm as it worked its way up the coast. The latest information presented was that it would start around noon but become heaviest during the overnight hours. Considering I work overnight and would be riding out the storm at work, I was content with that forecast. Sunday night, however, I was singing a different tune as the intesity of the storm started earlier than expected. I attempted the travel anyways thinking that I would be clear sailing once I hit a major stretch of roadway.
As I drove along Route 8 here in Litchfield county, it was evident I would not make it to work. The winds picked up as a snow-covered highway turned even more deadly thanks to the howling winds that caused white out conditions. For those who aren’t familiar with Route 8 here in Litchfield county, it is a two lane north-south divided highway that makes its way from the border of New Haven county to Winsted. The worst part of this highway, however, is the fact that from the Litchfield county border, it has no lights, making travel in white out conditions nearly impossible. Not being able to see 2 feet in front of me, I turned my car around and went right back home. It was evident that conditions were not favorable, and were not getting any better as the storm continued to progress through the overnight hours.
As we begin to dig out, we have to thank those who are in the media business for working hard all week-long to keep the public informed about this impending storm. More so, we have to thank those that were required to be out in the storm such as DOT workers and emergency personnel. This storm was certainly one for the record books. I will never forget ‘Blizzapolis 2010’.