First Person: Historic Blizzard Strikes New England

The Great Blizzard of 2013

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First Person: Historic Blizzard Strikes New England
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First Person: Historic Blizzard Strikes New England

Yahoo! News is gathering brief first-person accounts, photos and video from the severe winter weather in the northeastern United States. Here's one resident's story.

FIRST PERSON | The governor has officially closed the roads now. I live in a small historic rural community, east of the city of Hartford, Conn. I was out for a brief time between 1 and 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The snow got off to a slow start, but road conditions were still quite slick early this afternoon. The towns to the north of me, Vernon and Ellington, had different road conditions than Bolton. Much of their roadways were slushy as the snow cascaded gently. Many of the stores and malls were either closed, or beginning to close. The Dunkin' Donuts had no donuts left, some gas stations were without fuel, and the grocery store shelves were emptying. Many restaurants had closed, and few places were "busy", except the gas stations, grocery stores and fast food chains.

As the time drew closer to 3 p.m. on my journey back home, snow became heavier and the winds started to pick up. Road conditions were dicey and skid marks were evident on many hills and side roads- but there were no stranded vehicles. Commuters were heading home in a steady streamline of cars into town. There was some sanding evident, but no plowing. As I looked out in the center of town, it felt "Old New England" and beautiful. I wondered how the colonial residents survived such a storm way back in the 1700's. The Heritage Farm, a historic site where the famous Preacher Jonathan Edwards had his "Great Awakening", and General George Washington camped with Rochambeau during the Revolutionary War, stood quiet and reassuring. It has seen so many of these storms since being built in 1732.

As of 7:30 p.m., the winds had picked up considerably, and we had about 9 inches of snow. The conditions were intense with heavy whipping snow and low visibility. The "Blizzard" has arrived! The snow seems to be falling at a rate of at least two inches an hour, and we are expected to get 18"-24" inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon. The roadways are quiet except for the sound of an occasional plow.

It's 8:45 p.m., I just finished shoveling the walkway and around my car just get a bit ahead of tomorrow. There's a foot of snow that's whipping and howling. But when you pace yourself, it can feel a bit invigorating. The snow is light and fluffy, and I can only imagine what daybreak will bring!

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