The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Mark Simonson

March 11, 2013

Blizzard of 1993 was a local memory maker

It was a legendary snowstorm that probably many still bring up in conversations 20 years later. This was one that packed a punch Saturday, March 13, referred to by most as the “Blizzard of 1993.” It was legendary, not only from the memories and stories told, but also because there hadn’t been a single storm so large to date in most of the region in 105 years.

I was living on Binghamton’s West Side at the time, usually a short walk to downtown over the Court Street Bridge. I’d heard that somehow the Capital District Islanders bus had made it through the heavy snow from Troy on Interstate 88, so the Binghamton Rangers hockey game was still on at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena that night. I bundled up and what was a normal 10-15 minute walk took about a half-hour. No one could possibly drive other than emergency vehicles with the help of city plows, but many were out just playing in the snow or taking in the scenery, much like I was.

I was one of the announced 316 who watched the game in a venue that otherwise would’ve hosted a crowd of more than 4,000. I had my choice of seats, no restrictions. No concessions were open, and the Arena staff that could get there was hard-pressed, so it was hockey with no frills or blaring music. The diehard fans trudged home happy, as Binghamton won, 6-2.

Not so happy an experience the next day was digging out my car, buried in the driveway under the 22 inches of reported snowfall, with much deeper drifts.

In Oneonta, 21.7 inches had fallen. It got worse. Cooperstown set an all-time record with 28.3 inches. Harold Hollis, a National Weather Service observer in the village, said this was more than a late December 1969 storm, which deposited 27.4 inches over its three-day fall. The 1993 storm fell in slightly over 24 hours.

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Mark Simonson

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