By Karen Osburn, Archivist
The month of March is upon us with wildly unpredictable weather. March is the month of wind, sun, snow, rain, sleet, and it usually has a complete temperature rollercoaster. I have a real love/hate affair with March. The days get longer; the sun comes out more and then just as I begin looking for crocuses, daffodils, primroses and violets in the garden we get socked with a blizzard or ice storm!
I haven’t lived in Geneva long enough to have a favorite blizzard story for here though I do have snow storm stories about my other two long term residences, Rochester and Hemlock, New York. The Blizzard of 1966 comes to mind along with the winter of 1977-1978 which had ferocious storms. So in the midst of these winter doldrums I decided to see what I could find for major winter storms in March that may have affected Geneva and I came up with two whoppers!
The Blizzard of 1888 is supposed to be the storm against which all others are compared. The storm began March 11, 1888 and ended March 14, 1888. This storm began with mild snow starting about 3 pm on March 11 and by the time it finished at 3 am on March 14 almost 50 inches of snow had fallen, drifts were even higher than 50 inches and the City of Albany was completely shut down. 400 people in the state lost their lives and trains were trapped in drifts 20 feet deep!