From January 22-24, the Eastern part of the United States experienced a winter storm for the record books. Snow reached record highs in several places – 42″ in Glengary, West Virginia, 30.5″ at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and others.
This storm caused many problems, of course. On Friday, there was a 7-mile long traffic jam involving at least 500 cars on the Pennsylvania Turnpike; it was caused by various road accidents due to the weather. Electricity was another issue. Many people experienced power outages, especially in North Carolina, which forced many people to leave their homes to go where heat and power were available. Over 8,000 flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday. Worst of all, at least 37 people have died due to the storm, and this number is not final. Fortunately, as of Monday, people in places such as New York City are working diligently to clear and melt the snow so that life can go on as usual. But it is certainly slow going, as one would expect from a weather event of this scale.
Though most areas had snow, the coast of New Jersey also got hit with extreme waves that flooded low-lying areas. These waves were comparable to the ones that occurred during Hurricane Sandy. And in some ways, it was worse than Sandy, simply because of the cold and snow. This picture below shows the effects of the storm on the town of North Wildwood, New Jersey.
Clearly, this storm has had a devastating impact on those affected, and the damage may not be over. The snow refreezes every night, which creates problems for people driving, as roads are icy. And with heavy winds, roads may become covered as well.
Fortunately, some good has come out of this crazy storm. Videos upon videos show people having fun in the snow. Several people have donned their bathing suits and dove right in, like these people.
In Washington, D.C., people brought out their sleds and went sledding down Capitol Hill. Sledding was strictly prohibited after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but a provision in a $1.1 trillion spending bill passed in December of 2015 enabled sledding on Capitol Hill once again.
A group of people traveling back home after the March For Life in Washington, D.C. were hindered by the storm, as their bus was stranded. But they made the most of it by constructing an altar from the snow and holding mass on the side of the road.
And of course, who could forget about the connection to the Jonas brothers with the storm’s name being Jonas? Fans took to Twitter with memes, and the brothers even responded to this.
*Images from Twitter.com
If you would like to see more of these, I highly recommend checking out this Buzzfeed article filled with Jonas brothers-related memes and Tweets.
However, in all seriousness, I did not think this storm would amount to as much as it did. I looked at The Weather Channel app on my phone on Saturday and it showed a 100% chance of snow for New York for the whole weekend, which surprised me. But I did not realize the incredible amount of snow that was expected until I looked at the news. When scrolling through Facebook, I noticed several videos of people having fun in the snow, or stories of being stranded or stuck in traffic. I had several friends attend the March For Life in Washington, D.C., and their Snapchat stories revealed what it was like to be out in the elements during the storm. Never in my life have I personally experienced a snowstorm of this severity. I was born in 1996, which was the year of a blizzard, but I obviously do not remember it.
I sincerely hope that those areas that have been hit by this storm can rebound quickly and are not too severely damaged. As of today, schools out East were closed, and many are delayed or closed for Tuesday as well. Flights have continued to be canceled and delayed, but within the next few days, they should become more regular again.
Because I like to end on a happy note, here are a few pictures of nuns sledding in Central Park. And to all those affected by Winter Storm Jonas, I hope you are all safe and that you stay warm!