A National Weather Service meteorologist may have apologized for overestimating the amount of snow New York City would receive in what Mayor Bill DeBlasio warned residents could be “one of the largest snow storms in the history of this city,” but the full force of the forecasted blizzard hit New England Jan. 26 and 27, leaving some towns with close to three feet of snow.
No fatalities related to the storm were confirmed in New England, though two deaths on Long Island — that of a teen who ran into a light pole while sledding and an elderly man with dementia — have been linked to the event by police.
Residents up and down the coast are only now starting to dig out their homes and assess damage, and major cities like Boston are attempting to coordinate snow removal as airports have been reopened and transit systems have resumed limited service.
According to the Boston Globe, more than 11,000 customers in Massachusetts alone remained without power as of Jan. 28.
And New Englanders won’t be getting any help from Mother Nature, as two more storms are predicted to pummel the area in the next week, though with much lower precipitation figures.
The Importance of Preparation
Officials in New England praised private citizens and public workers alike for strong preparation efforts, saying they almost certainly helped to avoid further fatalities and damage.
“It is a common misconception that ice itself can damage a roof. A roof is damaged because it is not installed correctly,” said Richard Lundstrom of HomeMasters. “If the contractor installs the roof using an ice and water shield on the eave of a house then damage should not occur.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency also took the opportunity to distribute information on preparing homes for winter storms — advice that may soon become relevant again, should the forecasted storms hit.
All families should ensure they have three days’ worth of food and water stored.
It’s also vital that all residents winterize their homes, checking roof insulation and ensuring gutters are clear. “Ice dams can form during winter storms if the gutters aren’t clean and straight,” reported NBC, “and they can flood a home at the worst possible time.”