S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Blizzard of (20)03 Page keywords = blizzard snow 2003

Updated:  07 Aug 2019; 16:20  ET
(Created 18 Feb 2003; converted 07 Aug 2019;
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

[Ref:  This is bliz0203.html  (URL http://sbiii.com/bliz0203.html);
was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's
Blizzard of (20)03 Page


{2003, that is}

[on the north shore of Long Island, New York
approximately 25 miles east of Times Square]

It started snowing on Sunday evening, 16 Feb 2003, and more-or-less petered out on Monday evening, 17 Feb 03, but the wind howled most of the night and the snow was a fine, dry powder; i.e., it DRIFTED!.

I started shoveling out at 07:30 on 18 Feb 03 and finished (well, quit) at 09:30.

Wow! Was I EVER wrong on snow heights!

Yes, there was only 1" on the roof of the car, BUT - - - !

First of all, a drift across my front entry and garage doors measured EXACTLY 40" high and was about 6' across.  If I'd opened the garage door from the inside, snow would have cascaded in, so I removed one panel of the entry to get started; the snow was completely up against the lower panel and the door couldn't be budged.  Shoveling gingerly through the panel opening got me enough of a space that I could edge the door open and work from there.  Unfortunately, the plow pile from the last storm meant I had to throw over a 4' height.

A yardstick was useless, as you can see, so I brought out my heavy tape and locked it at 40", where it exactly matched the crest of the drift.

Here we go with the pix (the images are mostly some 250Kb, so I put up reduced "thumbnail") versions at only some 60Kb or so - click on the images for the larger pictures):

01 - First view at 07:30, 18 Feb 2003; not very promising!
[All images 18 Feb 2003 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

02 - Looking down on the car; oh, it's not all that bad!

03 - But - look at those hubcaps and the drift height!

04 - pull the lower panel, dig outward a little, try the inadequate yardstick,
get the tape measure, pull it 'way out, and lock it at 40"!

05 - Squat down, sight along the crest and the end of the tape - 40", exactly!

06 - This is the plow pile over which I had to throw!

03bliz07 03bliz08
07 (L) - Hey!  The door is open (sort of).
08 (R) - It took an hour, but I made it out to the car!
Remember, on both pix, that shovel blade is 11" high.

03bliz09 03bliz10
09 (L) - Looking back from the car; I TOLD you the yardstick wasn't upto the job!
10 (R) - Yikes!  10¾" at the front hubcap!

11 - 10:00 and the car is clear (or nearly so);
a shovelful from under the gas tank had the impression of the tank on top!

12 - 10:30 - Made it to the street.  Enough!
[All images 18 Feb 2003 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

"Quit", as opposed to "finished", because the snow on the level on the driveway turned out to be 11", and I dug 100' to the street but only 10" wide (the blade on Dad's old air raid warden's shovel, for putting sand on incendiary bombs, measures 10" wide by 11" long, which was probably originally 12" long).  Extrapolating from the number of shovelsful and their average weight, I moved some FIVE TONS of snow!  Maybe I should sign on as fireman on a steam loco?

By taking lots of small bites with a small shovel blade, it wasn't all that strenuous.


At 15:00, I started to widen that path to the minimum to pass the car.  I could have gotten through, but that would have left packed ice tracks.  It got a bit too much for me by 15:30 (I'd moved another ton) and I was happy to pay some guys to help me; they did most of the rest of the widening and cleared away the entire drift (it was a bit more than even they bargained for).  The problem for all of us was that the throw kept getting higher and farther as we went along.  Regardless, it was all done by 16:30:

13 - They moved the drift, all right!
[All images 18 Feb 2003 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

14 - All gone!  I did the fine carving to allow the door to swing fully.

15 - The light arc visible in the mid-foreground is the curb cut;
you can readily see why the whole job got away from me
(I'm no spring chicken any more and did not want to cook my goose
or rupture my duck - or cry fowl!).
[All images 18 Feb 2003 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved]

All's well that ends well.  The temperature was mild, just above freezing.  Naturally, the sun came out for a moment after we were finished, just before it dropped below the horizon!

Epilogue:  I widened the driveway by 1' on one side and 2' on the other (another two tons, not counting the snow I shoveled for a friend) on Wednesday, 19 Feb, and the temperature shot up to 48F on Thursday!  Of course, all that meltwater means we'll have flooding!  (added 21 Feb 03)


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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