Blizzard Batters Midwest, then Northeast – A Real White Christmas

December 27, 2002

A powerful blizzard roared through the Midwest and moved on into Pennsylvania, New York and New England over Christmas bringing record snowfalls for this time of year and blanketing a wide swath of the U.S. with a real “White Christmas.”

Snowfall from Pennsylvania to Maine exceeded meteorologists estimates, averaging more than two feet across the region. An estimated 39,000 people in Massachusetts and 18,000 people in New York were left without power.

New York City’s Kennedy and LaGuardia airports shut down on Wednesday night, and roads were closed in New York and Pennsylvania. Workers were unable to prevent the closure of about 100 miles of the New York State Thruway, as the snow fell faster than they could clean it up.

Local authorities warned people not to travel unnecessarily and the National Weather Service urged motorists to carry a winter weather survival kit, including a shovel, food, water and blankets.

No estimates have yet been made of the losses caused by the storm, but at least 18 deaths have been reported directly due to its effect, and many more people are reported missing. Claims from, property, auto and economic losses due to business closures may well exceed several hundred million dollars.

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