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The looming storm

Notes from the North Woods

Nearly a decade had passed before the long drought was finally shattered by two powerful storms that pounded the northeast with a series of punishing, back to back Nor’easters over the Christmas 2002 and New Years 2003 holiday. The devastating, double whammy of the holiday season was soon followed by another major storm that struck the northeast in a span of less than two months.

The powerful storm arrived on Presidents Day weekend, 2003, and it was the last of three devastating winter storms that rumbled through the region that season.

After three major storms plowed through the Northeast in the winter of 2002-2003, the pace of major storms began to slow again. The next major storm to visit the Northeast was a Category 3, Winter Storm. With hurricane force winds and heavy snow, it battered the Northeast on Valentine’s Day, 2007 and shut down trains, planes and automobiles, and plunged millions of households into total darkness for days.

The Valentine’s Day Disaster of 2007 was followed by The Great Ice Storm of ‘08, which encased the entire northeast in a thick layer of ice that toppled trees, telephone poles and transmission towers in late December.

The storm produced a staggering mix of ice and heavy snow that crippled the entire region for more than two weeks in an area stretching from Montreal, Canada to Washington, DC.

In recent years, the frequency of such fierce storms has steadily increased, and those storms have grown more powerful as evidenced by the destructive powers of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Tropical Storm Irene ravaged the region’s roadways in 2011, and it will take many years for the local waterways to recover from the scouring caused by the resulting floods.

Fortunately, the Adirondack region was largely spared from any extensive damage as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy blew through the area in October of 2012. However, we can expect to see more of the same according to a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The report explains that due to increasing moisture in the atmosphere, such severe weather events will become more frequent and more turbulent.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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