MNN Galleries

6 snowstorms that crippled the East Coast

Jan. 11, 2012, 2:51 p.m.
3 of 8

The Great Blizzard of 1888

For three days in March 1888, a monster snowstorm shut down the entire northeastern United States. On March 11, the snow started coming down, and it didn't stop for three days. When the clouds parted and the sun shone once again on March 15, some states were left with snowdrifts as high as 50 feet. Massachusetts and Connecticut had 50 inches of snow; New York and New Jersey 40 inches. Vermont saw 20 to 30 inches of snow.

Everything was shut down for well over a week, far longer in more rural areas. Houses burned due to snow-locked fire trucks and hundreds of people died from the cold. Even after life warmed up, floods created by the snowmelt created havoc. Interestingly, the blizzard was a catalyst for the creation of the first underground subway system in Boston.