A year ago, the season's first dusting of snow veered east over Cape Cod and the forecasters were reassuring. Take heart, snow lovers, they said. Your day will come.
It did. Over and over again, with back-breaking, bone-chilling, roof-flattening regularity.
The season's first nor'easter gathered itself off the Carolinas on Christmas Day while no one paid attention. It roared over Connecticut two days later — 60 mph winds knocking down power lines, a foot of snow stopping travel.
It was first in an extraordinary series of storms, one every three or four days in January and every four or five days in February. When the weather broke months later, daily, monthly and annual snowfall records had been set and in some cases broken again and re-set.
The new, 21.9-inch daily record set in January lasted until 22.5 inches fell at Windsor Locks on Feb. 9. Twenty-nine inches was measured the same day in Meriden. A storm during the final week in January set a new monthly record of 54.9 inches. The old record of 45.3 inches dated from 1945.
Snow accumulated at such a rate that by February, there was talk about its weight as well as its depth. A dozen buildings collapsed around the state on Feb. 2, including an old, brick commercial building in Middletown that exploded across Main Street.
It was determined by experts in Arkansas that 14 feet of bright, white, dry powder is equivalent in weight to 2 feet of the nasty, gray, wet stuff then pressing on people's roofs. Homeowners who didn't know what a roof rake was at Thanksgiving were lining up outside hardware stores to buy them on Groundhog Day.
Insurers were crying in their toddies.
Ice dams were diverting water into homes, destroying ceilings. Blow torches used to melt ice in rain gutters were igniting houses. Homeowners climbing onto roofs with shovels were landing in hospitals.
It was a season for auto body shops, roofing contractors and a new business: roof shovelers. Seasonal workers who often spent winters in hibernation were flush. But finding the right gang of shovelers could be a tricky business for homeowners.
On one day in February, a homeowner in Newington paid a group of men he found walking down his street $250 to clear his roof. Another homeowner, in Berllin, complained that her snow removers wanted $3,650 for clearing her split-level. An East Hartford roofing contractor was billing each of his workers out at $65 an hour.
February closed with a 3-inch snowfall on the 27th, hardly worth mentioning. There was nothing in March. Another 3 inches fell on April Fools' Day. It seemed winter was over.
Until Halloween.Copyright © 2015, CT Now