The mayor fails to clear the streets while Goldie entertains Hawn at JFK
This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network’s Chris Mei featuring stories about people, communities and events and how the weather has affected them.
Meteorologists confidently predicted rain, wind and sleet for the weekend of February 8-9, 1969. A nor’easter developed on Saturday the 8th, which stalled over New York City on the 9th, throwing up to 51 inches of snow across the entire metropolitan area.
Manhattan during the storm. Courtesy of Wikipedia
This day of weather history is as much about the actual weather as it is about the city’s (lack of) reaction to the weather. So much so that NYC Mayor John Lindsay had the honor of having the storm named after him. Less of an honor and probably more of an unwanted label.
Lindsay’s Snowstorm brought the city that never sleeps to a standstill. Roads between New York City and Newburgh were closed, trapping hundreds of motorists on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Thousands more motorists were stuck on the New York State Thruway.
Courtesy of Daily News
4,000 travelers were stuck at JFK airport. These people didn’t have the worst experience. Before heading to the parked planes, which were being converted to shelters for the night, the crowd received impromptu entertainment from Soupy Sales and Goldie Hawn.
So close the “lucky” people of this storm.
New York is closed. Public transport could not operate, schools could not be opened, sporting events were canceled and leaving the houses was all but out of the question.
The city did not dispatch snow removal teams on Sunday. City officials finally began clearing the streets Sunday night but did not hire private tillers to help with the immense amount of snow.
Known for his suave personality, Lindsay made his way to Queens to see the hardest-hit borough. He traveled in a limousine.
His limousine and some escort vehicles didn’t make it through the unploughed roads. When he emerged from his stuck vehicle, locals gave them a piece of their New York thoughts.
It was bad. Doctors could not leave their homes to get to emergency calls. People died in their cars from carbon monoxide poisoning. In total, at least 94 people died from the storm.
To learn more about the impact of the 1969 Northeast, listen to tonight’s episode of This Day In Weather History.
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Thumbnail: New York Mayor Lindsay brings in his budget. Courtesy of Wikipedia