October 29th, 2011 Halloween Nor'easter

On October 29th, New England was hit by an unusually early Winter nor'easter.  The storm brought heavy, wet snow to southern New England, and further north where there was not as much moisture, very large amounts of drier snow. In some northwestern parts of Massachusetts, towns reported in excess of 20", with the highest total being 31" in the little town of Peru, MA. As I write this, it's a week later and many residents are still without power, and tree limbs still lie everywhere at the side of the roads or in people's yards.

The storm hit at about 3:30 PM, and continued well into the night. The biggest issue with the storm was the fact that it occurred so early in the season that the trees were still completely foliated, meaning that the heavy, wet snow clung easily to the trees. We had dinner reservations in Boston but cancelled them early and decided to eat out locally. As we drove to the nearby restaurant, it was clear at 6:30 PM that power was already out in my places, and as we got to the restaurant, the lights flickered several times. Luckily, we were able to complete our meal before power went out and get home. The power stayed on until after we went to bed, when the wind started picking up.

When I awoke in the morning, the power was out and the trees, as seen in the pictures below, were completely laden with snow and bent to the ground. I went out to clean up the driveway and watched as the trees, starting from the top, started losing the snow as soon as the Sun got high enough to shine on them.

Driving around town, it was clear that the whole town was out, and soon via radio we found that some 1/2 a million people had lost power. We ended up without power until Monday afternoon, 36 hours later. As it turns out, we were pretty lucky. Roads were closed for days with downed trees everywhere.

Below are some of the pictures I took when I was out and about town during the storm.

SPC Convective Outlook
                   SPC Tornado Prob.                            NOAA Storm Report



The backyard the morning after but before the Sun quickly melted the snow out of the trees.   This tree is usually about 15 feet tall. Here, the snow has bent the limbs all the way to the ground. Luckily, it has bounced back pretty well. The pine trees took a beating too.

The view at the top of our driveway.


Side view of our smooshed trees.

This pine tree is usually about 8 feet tall. I put Christmas lights on it!

The Rose of Sharon bush didn't do too well either!


The neighbors lost this entire tree. Tree damage around town was massive.

All pictures (C) Richard Hamel 2017.

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