6 Memorable Winter Storms and Outages
Today marks the first official day of spring. As a Midwest data center, we withstood the extreme winter. With chilling temperatures, the coldest March in years, and several snow and ice storms. We decided to take retrospective look at some of the worst winter weather, both here in the Midwest and across the country. Now, take a look at these notable storms and the outages they caused and be sure to not let the weather disrupt your business.
1. Nemo 2013
We can’t discuss winter storms without mentioning this year’s horror, Nemo. The Weather Channel dubbed the storm Nemo, with origins from Jules Verne’s character Captain Nemo or the adorable fish who is missing in the Disney film, Finding Nemo. Less cuddly and charming, Winter Storm Nemo wreaked havoc on the Northeast, passing through New England and leaving three feet of snow. More than 300,000 people were without power and as many as 400,000 people were powerless in Massachusetts. Wind gusts of more than 80 miles per hour were reported. Besides the loss of power and interrupted travel plans, numerous professional sporting events were delayed because the teams were stranded in various cities.
2. Washington D.C. Blizzard of 2011
The east coast also felt the effect of winter storms further south in 2011. Thousands of people were left without power in January 2011 in Washington D.C. due to snow storms. Nearly 200,000 people in Northern Virginia at one point were without power and up to 650,000 people were without power at some point during the blizzard. As a result public and private transit, as well as corporate business operations were disrupted.
3. Chicago Blizzard of 2011
The Midwest and the Windy City are no strangers to inclement weather, but in 2011 Chicago experienced the third largest blizzard in the city’s history. “Chicago closed its public schools for the first time in 12 years and shut down Lake Shore Drive, where hundreds of motorists were stranded for 12 hours after multiple car accidents on the iconic roadway,” according to the Huffington Post. Approximately 123,000 people were without power and utility crews worked ceaselessly to repair downed power lines and damaged equipment.
4. NYC Blizzard of 2010
The storm hit the day after Christmas and was the sixth largest storm in New York City’s history. Between 18 and 24 inches of snow fell, with 29 inches reported in parts of Staten Island. Wind gusts were reported as strong as 60 miles per hour. As a result of the storm public transit came to a standstill and more than 24,000 people lost power.
5. NYC Blizzard of 2006
Seven years prior to Nemo, New York suffered another massive snow storm. This was the largest storm in the city’s history, covering Central Park with 26.9 inches of snow. The storm not only affected New York City, but also impacted regions from Maine to Virginia, not unlike Nemo. The blizzard knocked down trees and power lines and forced all three major airports to close during the heaviest part of the snowfall.
6. Indianapolis Blizzard of 1978
To Hoosier natives, this will forever be the storm that lives in infamy. The Circle City was buried under over 20 inches of continuous snowfall in January of 1978. The precipitation was coupled with intense temperatures. Thermometers read zero degrees, but with wind-chill effects, residents felt the chill of -51 degrees. The wind coupled with snowfall lead to several drifts over ten feet tall.
Why do we examine the weather? Does it even matter? The short answer is yes! Disaster recovery and preparedness demand planning for these types of scenarios. When reviewing your company’s disaster recovery plan, consider the effects your company, equipment, and data will feel from environmental factors, such as winter storms and extreme cold. Having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan with redundant backup methods will protect your data should your business be affected by a natural disaster. Review more complete disaster recovery planning and strategies here.