March 11 Marks Great Blizzard of 1888


coaster-news-200-newBy DON STINE

Yes, the days are getting longer and the flowers are starting to peek out in the garden- but don’t put away that snow shovel or salt just yet.  Some of the biggest snows events in New Jersey’s history have happened in March- so don’t drag out the lawn furniture out yet!

The Great Blizzard on March 11, 1888 hit the East Coast in one of the worst blizzards in American history, killing more than 400 people and dumping as much as 55 inches of snow in some areas, including Monmouth County. Cities and towns ground to a near halt in the face of massive snow drifts and powerful winds, recorded at up to 85 miles per hour.

Hundreds of boats were sunk and thousands of wild and farm animals froze to death. About 200 people were killed in New York City alone.

After the blizzard many officials in the area realized the dangers of above-ground telegraph, water and gas lines and moved them below ground. In New York City, a similar determination was made about the trains.

An historic March 2, 1914 blizzard dumped two feet of snow in the Asbury Park area. The great amount of snow hampered business, communications, power, schools, transportation and life in general.

A March 4, 1960 nor’easter, ranked a Category 4 storm, dumped lots of snow along the Atlantic Coast, with in New Jersey getting more than 20 inches. The storm caused at least 80 fatalities and stranded thousands of residents. Schools were forced to close, transportation was severely disrupted, and stalled vehicles on roadways hampered snow removal efforts.

And only last year, a mid-March blizzard dumped about a foot of snow in this area.

But don’t worry, Spring really is just around the corner!

Posted in Asbury Park City Desk and tagged , .