Great Blizzard of 1888

The notorious "Blizzard of 1888" literally paralyzed The Northeast after three days of snow, wind and freezing temperatures.

Two-and-a-half to four feet of snow fell, and drifts were reported to cover entire first stories of buildings. Carts and carriages in the streets were abandoned and buried by snow as drivers realized the futility of their endeavors. Schools, city railroads and public offices were closed, and even New York's elevated railways were victim to the mounting drifts. A mile's worth of passenger trains headed for New York were trapped for two days in drifts exceeding 20 feet. Tragically, over 400 people lost their lives in this storm.

The storm of wind and rain, which began to sweep over this city and the neighborhood on Sunday evening, gathered force as the night progressed. The temperature began to fall albeit and snow descended in succession and the wind be- came boisterous. Before daylight dawned yesterday a remarkable storm, the most annoying and detrimental in its results that the city has ever witnessed, was in full progress.

When the people began to stir to go about their daily tasks and vocations, they found that a blizzard, just like those they have been accustomed to read about as occurring in the far West had struck this city and its environs and had held an embargo on the travel and traffic of the greatest city on the continent. What the presence of a blizzard meant was soon manifest.

As the hours went on and noon drew nigh the storm lost none of its severity. Dusk came and then darkness, and the wonderful visitation was still in progress. Still the streets were banked high with rifts of snow, still the wind roared and howled and bellowed and flung itself against the city's walls, still the horse cars were cut off their tracks and the pillared roads were idle, still the wagons were few, the women were obliterated from the outdoor scenes, the pelting snow and sleet blinded men's eyes, the cold wind numbed man and beast, the uproar of wild voices continued.