Destructive mudslides, feet of snow, wind and waves collapsing houses along the shoreline -- all part of a powerful storm system that brought impacts coast to coast to close out the first month of the year.
We start in California with a tale of two different types of precipitation
. While it was much needed moisture for the Golden State, it also brought hazards for days from the mountains to the beaches. Some cities picked up more than a foot of rain, leading to flooding and mudslides. This prompted evacuations and even rescue missions in Monterey County.
At the same time, mountain snow in the Sierras began coming down at a very fast rate, with final storm totals between six to nine feet. The snow engulfed towns, snarled traffic, and even stranded those brave enough to be out on the roads. From there, the storm system tracked toward the Midwest, with snow amounts measuring more than a foot in some locations from Milwaukee to Chicago to Northwest Indiana.
The snow set records for Chicago, IL, coming in as the largest snowfall event total in five years with 10.8” observed at Chicago O-Hare
The final leg of its journey --- bringing days of ice and snow into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. In the Big Apple, record setting daily snow totals rank this as one of the top 20 biggest snowstorms in recorded history.
In addition to snow, coastal cities had to brace for strong onshore winds that created large surf, which resulted in coastal flooding and significant beach erosion.
Homes were damaged and even destroyed with several in Sandwich, MA, collapsing into the ocean.
But while this historic winter storm brought lots of headaches, it also created happiness to those who needed an excuse to get outside and make the most of it.
This included a massive snowball fight in Washington, D.C. to several days of sledding … and even building a snowman in Central Park.
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