History

When Big Blizzards Hit the Big Apple: Photos

In the wake of one of the biggest blizzards to hit the east coast, take a look back at other big blizzards that crippled the nation's biggest city.

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People up and down the East Coast were engulfed by a massive winter storm over the weekend. For New York City it was officially the second biggest blizzard in the city's history, with 26.8 inches recorded in Central Park. Other parts of the city received more than 30 inches. And it was the biggest amount of snowfall received in a single day in New York City -- ever. "It's an incredible amount of snow to have to move," NYC sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, said on Sunday. "Even some of the V-plows are struggling with these depths." But as New Yorkers dug out and hiked over massive, slushy snowbanks to lug their reluctant kids to school on Monday, history shows the country's biggest city has seen this kind of weather before.

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In fact, the biggest storm in New York City's history wasn't that long ago. On Feb. 11 and 12, 2006, snow blanketed the metropolis with 26.9 inches after falling steadily for 16 hours. Hundreds of flights were canceled, the Long Island Railroad and Metro North halted service temporarily and the subway system saw extensive delays. Fortunately there were no deaths or serious injuries reported.

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The third runner-up for the biggest snowstorm in New York City history was the blizzard of 1947 when 26.4 inches of snow fell in Central Park over two days (Dec. 26-27). Cars and buses became stranded in the streets, subway service came to a halt. The storm claimed 77 lives.

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The fourth worst storm on record in the city was the Great Blizzard of 1888. Twenty-one inches of snow fell over a two-day period. It cruelly struck the city in early spring -- March 12-14. This photograph shows a train collision at Coleman's Station in New York City during the blizzard.

A New York Central locomotive derailed while attempting to push past snow drifts in the 4th Avenue tunnel during the 1888 storm. Commuters were stranded on elevated tracks without food in unheated cars.

Horse-drawn carts and wagons were fitted with runners that could glide over the snow for the aftermath of the 1888 storm. The blizzard of 1888 was the deadliest on record -- around 200 people died, many of them frozen. Historians say it took the city some 14 days to recover.

It may not have been among the top three storms of history, but a blizzard in 1915 rendered the city's streets nearly impassable.

Also memorable was the blizzard of 1926. Shovelers were hired to clear the streets. You can watch a news reel of how New Yorkers handled the onslaught of snow

here

.

This photo from 1915 shows how city workers would load snow into carts and haul it to rivers and sometimes sewers, where it could melt and drain away.

Today New York City is equipped with about 2,800 snow plows that make clearing roads much easier than in earlier days. Currently the New York Department of Sanitation has 1,800 plows and 500 salt spreaders on the streets and at the ready for the next round of whatever Mother Nature may bring.

Keep tabs on the storm here with the DNews Stormtracker.