Author: Ginutis

Commercial Snow Removal in The Bronx

Unmatched Excellence: #1 Choice for Commercial Snow Removal in The Bronx.

When winter blankets the Bronx in a pristine layer of snow, businesses need a reliable partner to ensure seamless operations. That partner is none other than Commercial Bronx Snow Removal, the unrivaled leader in providing top-tier commercial snow removal services in the borough. With an unblemished track record, 24/7 availability, a comprehensive range of services, and cutting-edge equipment, we are the trusted choice for businesses that refuse to let winter slow them down.

Commercial Snow Removal in The Bronx

In the heart of The Bronx, businesses face a unique challenge when winter strikes – maintaining smooth operations amidst snow-covered landscapes. Enter Commercial Bronx Snow Removal, the uncontested #1 choice for businesses that require prompt, efficient, and professional snow removal services. Our dedication to excellence, coupled with years of industry experience, has earned us the reputation of being the preferred partner for commercial snow removal in the borough.

Comprehensive and Unparalleled Services

When the snow begins to fall, Commercial Bronx Snow Removal rises to the occasion, offering a comprehensive suite of services that cater to all your winter needs. Our services include:

24/7 Snow Removal: Snow doesn’t adhere to a strict schedule, and neither do we. Our round-the-clock service ensures that no matter when the snowfall occurs, our team is ready to clear it promptly.

Snow Plowing: Our heavy-duty equipment is tailored to handle the largest commercial parking lots with ease. We specialize in efficient and precise snow plowing that guarantees accessibility and safety.

De-Icing Solutions: Safety is our priority. We provide effective de-icing solutions to prevent hazardous ice accumulation, ensuring that your business premises remain safe for employees and customers alike.

Snow Hauling: For areas where space is at a premium, we offer snow hauling services to remove excess snow and create a cleaner environment.

Walkway Plowing: It’s not just parking lots that need attention; our meticulous walkway plowing service ensures that foot traffic flows seamlessly, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

Commercial Bronx Snow Removal is equipped with a fleet of heavy machinery designed to tackle the toughest snow removal challenges. Our cutting-edge equipment includes plows, blowers, and loaders, all operated by skilled professionals who understand the intricacies of efficient snow removal. Regardless of the size of your commercial property, our equipment ensures that the job is done swiftly and effectively.

Affordable Snow Removal Services

We understand that quality services should be accessible to all businesses, regardless of their size. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering affordable snow plowing and snow removal services in The Bronx. Our pricing packages are designed to accommodate various budgets while maintaining the highest standards of service quality. With Bronx Snow Removal Services, you get the best value for your investment.

Unmatched Expertise

Our team is composed of snow removal experts who have honed their skills over years of experience. Each member of our crew is trained in the latest techniques, safety protocols, and equipment operation. When you choose Commercial Bronx Snow Removal, you’re enlisting the help of a team that not only knows the job inside out but is also passionate about delivering results that exceed your expectations.

Customer-Centric Approach

At Commercial Bronx Snow Removal, our clients’ satisfaction is paramount. We take a customer-centric approach to every project, understanding your unique needs and tailoring our services accordingly. Our friendly and responsive customer support team is always ready to address your concerns and ensure a smooth snow removal experience from start to finish.

Proven Track Record

With a long history of successful projects, satisfied clients, and glowing testimonials, our track record speaks volumes about our dedication to excellence. We have consistently delivered outstanding snow removal and plowing services to businesses across The Bronx, earning us the trust and loyalty of our clients.

Commercial Snow Removal in The Bronx

When the winter chill descends upon The Bronx, our Bronx Snow Removal company emerges as the unbeatable solution for businesses seeking superior snow removal and plowing services. With a commitment to excellence, a comprehensive range of services, state-of-the-art equipment, affordability, and an unwavering focus on customer satisfaction, we have rightfully earned our place as the #1 commercial snow removal choice in the borough. Don’t let snow slow down your business – choose the industry leader, and let us clear the way for your success.

Get in touch with Commercial Bronx Snow Removal today for a winter season that’s free from worry and full of possibilities.

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Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point

Unmatched Excellence: #1 Choice for Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point, The Bronx.

As winter casts its icy spell upon Hunts Point in The Bronx, businesses must prepare for the challenges that come with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. In the heart of this vibrant community, one name stands out as the unrivaled leader in combating winter’s fury: Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, 24/7 service, and a comprehensive range of snow removal solutions, we have earned our place as the foremost provider of commercial snow removal services in the region.

Your Trusted Partner for Unyielding Winter Solutions

In a landscape transformed by glistening snow, Hunts Point businesses deserve a partner they can rely on to ensure their operations continue without interruption. That’s where we come in – your trusted ally in the battle against winter’s wrath. With an unmatched dedication to serving Hunts Point’s commercial sector, we have rightfully earned the reputation as the premier choice for snow removal and plowing services.

Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point

#1 in Hunts Point: The Ultimate Assurance of Quality

When it comes to selecting a commercial snow removal company, nothing less than the best will suffice. We take immense pride in our title as the number one commercial snow removal service in Hunts Point. This accolade isn’t just a label; it’s a testament to the years of hard work, expertise, and consistently superior service that we have delivered to our valued clients.

Comprehensive Services to Combat Winter’s Challenges

Our commitment to being the ultimate snow removal solution is reflected in the comprehensive array of services we offer. We understand that every snowfall brings unique challenges, and we are fully equipped to tackle them all.

  1. 24/7 Snow Removal: Snow and ice don’t adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule, and neither do we. Our dedicated teams are available around the clock, ready to respond to your snow removal needs promptly and efficiently.
  2. Snow Plowing: Our state-of-the-art snow plowing equipment ensures that your premises, whether a parking lot or a driveway, are cleared of snow with precision and speed, allowing you and your customers to navigate safely.
  3. De-Icing: The treacherous combination of snow and ice can create hazardous conditions. Our de-icing services utilize the latest techniques and materials to melt ice and provide secure surfaces for both pedestrians and vehicles.
  4. Snow Hauling: When mountains of snow threaten to impede your business, our snow hauling services come to the rescue. We expertly remove and relocate accumulated snow, opening up valuable space on your property.
  5. Custom Solutions: We understand that each business has unique requirements. Our team collaborates closely with you to devise a tailored snow removal plan that aligns with your specific needs.

Experience and Expertise That Matters

What sets us apart is not just the breadth of our services, but the depth of our expertise. Our crews are comprised of highly trained professionals who are well-versed in the intricacies of snow removal, plowing, and de-icing. With years of experience navigating the challenges posed by winter weather, we have honed our skills to perfection.

Technology-Driven Precision

Modern challenges require modern solutions, and technology plays a pivotal role in our operations. Our fleet is equipped with cutting-edge GPS tracking systems that allow us to monitor our vehicles in real time. This ensures that our response times are swift and our services are delivered with the utmost precision.

Customer-Centric Approach

At Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point, our clients are at the heart of everything we do. We take pride in building lasting relationships based on trust, reliability, and exceptional service. Our customer-centric approach means that we go above and beyond to exceed your expectations.

Community Engagement

As a prominent member of the Hunts Point community, we understand the significance of giving back. We actively engage in community initiatives, sponsor local events, and contribute to the betterment of our neighborhood. Our commitment to Hunts Point extends beyond snow removal – it’s a commitment to the well-being of the entire community.

Choose Excellence, Choose Us

When winter’s icy grip tightens, there’s only one choice that guarantees excellence in commercial snow removal: Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point. With an unparalleled track record, a comprehensive suite of services, and a dedication to serving the community, we stand ready to combat winter’s challenges so that your business can thrive without hindrance.

Commercial Snow Removal in Hunts Point

Don’t let winter catch you off guard. Contact us today to learn more about our Hunts Point snow removal services, and how we can ensure your business remains operational, no matter how intense the snowfall. Let us be your shield against winter’s fury – your trusted partner in Hunts Point’s success.

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NY Times features Able Snow Patrol!

No Snow in New York, but a Wintry Mix of Opinion

The New York Times
Published: January 13, 2012

Where is the snow? That is the question swirling – unlike actual flurries – across New York City and its suburbs, where sidewalks have been relentlessly gray and yards stubbornly green this winter. After a decade of higher-than-average snowfalls, including last year’s snowiest January ever, nary a flake has fallen since the freak October storm.

The lack of wintry precipitation comes as a relief to many – no lost power, no snarled commutes, no lagoons of slush. The city, too, is saving on salt and overtime. But for others, the absence has upset the rhythms of the season, stealing the sense of giddiness and grace that accompanies a robust snow. And in what might be thought of as the snow-based sector of the economy – hardware stores, ski shops, snow-plow services, even corner shoe-shine stands – the drought has been exceptionally bad for business.

Making it even worse: After the generous helping of snow last winter – at 61.9 inches, more than double the annual average for the city – some businesses increased their inventories of snow-related merchandise.

Polstein’s Home Center in Brooklyn ordered 20 percent more of everything – shovels, salt, snowbrushes, snow blowers, sleds and saucers. Justo Martinez, the manager, is buried under 1,200 shovels on the floor and another 8,000 in storage. He just cut $100 from the price tag of a $299 snowblower. “That’s practically cost,” he said.

Don Ward, who runs a shoe-shine stand at Avenue of the Americas and 47th Street, has watched the sky wistfully. “Snow brings up my bottom line,” he said, explaining that revenue rises 20 percent to 50 percent just after a storm. “Salt does something terrible to shoes, so when there’s a snowstorm, it’s a win-win.”

In the Bronx, Steve Owens, the owner of Able Snow Patrol, oversees a currently idle fleet of snow plows and each morning curses the forecast. “This has been a very slow start for us,” he said. “We have a lot of anxious drivers sitting at home who want to get out and make money. They get paid by the inch.”

Beyond any economic fallout, there is the ineffable snow-borne lightness that many across the New York region miss. Schoolchildren – and teachers – wondering when the next snow day will come. Alternate-side-of-the-street parkers, spoiled by the 17-day suspension last winter, looking for a break. Harried residents longing for the stillness that descends with the snow.

“It makes New York more magical,” said Teddy Schiff, an Upper East Side real estate developer.

The winter is still young, of course. On Thursday, the rain that hit the city was mixed with snow farther north; the Adirondacks got several inches, though that was little solace for the snow-starved here, many of whom would probably be surprised to learn that even if Central Park does not see another flurry, this winter will not break any records. The 2.9 inches that fell during the October storm already surpassed the accumulation for the winter of 1972-73, which logged just 2.8 inches.

Still, compared with the past 15 years, this winter is shaping up to be particularly skimpy, snow-wise. The past decade was the first, since weather records have been kept, that New York City had four consecutive years with at least 40 inches of snow. The record for annual snowfall was set in 1995-96, with 75.6 inches.

“The recent past in New York City has been characterized by unusually great snowfalls, although this year things are evening out,” said Fred Gadomski, a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University. “This is how we end up with averages. Some years, there’s a blockbuster amount of snow and other years, it just doesn’t happen.

“But,” he warned, “it’s only mid-January.”

For city officials, the absence of snow is a balm. The Sanitation Department has a current snow-removal budget of $42.8 million, which covers the cost of salt, overtime and equipment repairs. Last winter, the city had run through half that amount by mid-January; so far this year, it has used about 5 percent.

Any money left at the end of the season goes back into the general fund. “For the city, it’s a life saver,” said John J. Doherty, the sanitation commissioner. “It’s great to get a year like this once in a while.”

The city has 250,000 tons of salt available in the event the weather takes a turn. Late last winter, the department made two emergency purchases of rock salt totaling $6.3 million to replenish its stores.

The city’s parks are also prepared for snow when, or if, it comes. Hundreds of hay bales dot Riverside Park in Manhattan, ready to prevent sledders from crashing into lampposts and trees. And the parks department stands ready to provide its traditional free hot chocolate on snowy days – 2,500 cups, on average – in several parks.

“It becomes more of a party, and we hand out extra sleds,” said John Herrold, president of the Riverside Park Fund. “I hope we have at least one snow day.”

Not everyone feels that way, of course. Anne Asanovic, a secretary in Midtown who commutes 108 miles by bus daily from her home in the Poconos, has not regretted the scarcity of snow for a minute, having missed six days of work last winter. “I feel terrific that there’s no snow,” she said.

Same for Tony Backos, a lawyer who lives in Greenwich, Conn. During one snow storm last year, he and his family lost power for four days. “I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t have any snow for the rest of the winter,” he said.

Do not tell that to the folks at the Bronx Zoo, where staff members are eager to see their cold-loving charges – Siberian tigers, snow leopards and polar bears, to name a few – in their natural element.

“Some species clearly enjoy it when it snows,” said Patrick R. Thomas, the zoo’s general curator and associate director. “Our tigers are more active and playful in the snow, and the polar bears slide across it. They just exhibit what we would consider joyful behaviors.”

If joy and parking can inhabit the same space, New Yorkers who are liberated from alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules by snowfall have been there – just not this winter.

The humorist Calvin Trillin wrote a novel, “Tepper Isn’t Going Out,” about a man who spends his days hunting for the perfect Manhattan parking spot. Though Mr. Trillin now enjoys the luxury of a garage, he still empathizes with the alternate-siders.

Getting respite from the tyranny of alternate side, he said, “is a wonderful New York thing.” For the die-hard parkers, he added, a winter without a snow suspension would feel as if “Christmas was canceled.”

Alison Leigh Cowan contributed reporting.

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Top 10 Fascinating Facts About Snow

Did you know that each winter one septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)  of snow crystals drop from the sky and that it takes about a million little droplets to make one snowflake? As common as it might seem at first glance, snow is actually a very complex type of precipitation. If you are wondering which is the world’s largest snowflake or what is the record for the greatest snowfall in the United States, you have landed on right page.
Here are Top 10 fascinating facts about snow:

10. Funny Snow Terminology


Not all snow is the same and who knows this better than skiers and snowboarders? Skiers created in the early 1900s their own terminology to describe various types of snow. The crazy lingo used by them includes funny terms such as “pow pow,” “mashed potatoes,” “champagne snow (powder),” “cauliflower,” “sticky snow,” “dust on crust” and many other descriptive terms. Slang adds humor, color and personality to any vocabulary. Did you know that “pow pow” or simply pow (from powder) is the fresh powder snow, which is actually a soft, fluffy type of snow?  “Champagne snow” has such an extremely low moisture content that you can’t even make a snowball with it. While “champagne powder” is great for skiing because it’s smooth and dry, “mashed potatoes” is an old, dense and heavy snow that is hard to turn skis in.

9.  The World’s Largest Snowflake


According to specialists, “snowflakes are agglomerates of many frozen ice crystals., most snowflakes are less than one-half inch across”, NSIDC. The water content of snowflakes is more variable than we think. An average snowflake is made up of 180 billion molecules of water, but the snow-water ration depends on various factors such as temperature, crystal structure, wind speed etc.

Even if there aren’t any images of the biggest snowflake ever recorded, the Guinness Book of World Records states that a giant snowflake was found at Fort Keogh, Montana on January 28, 1887. It was 15 inches wide and 8 inches thick.

8.  The Colors of Snow

colors of snow

While many think that snow is either white or blue, its ‘colors’ range from yellow and orange to green and even purple, but…believe it or not, snow is actually colorless. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, “the complex structure of snow crystals results in countless tiny surfaces from which visible light is efficiently reflected. What little sunlight is absorbed by snow is absorbed uniformly over the wavelengths of visible light thus giving snow its white appearance.”

Cold-tolerant algae are  small, photosynthetic organisms which grow on snow and ice in the polar and alpine regions. Different strains of algae can color the snow yellow, red, orange, brown, green. Of course, the snow acquires its color after it has fallen. You may see snow that falls pink, brown, orange or red, if the air is filled with dust, pollutants or sand. Orange snow fell over Siberia in 2007 and Krasnodar (Russia) was covered by pink snow in 2010.

7. Snowfall Record

snowfall record

If you ever wondered where did the most snow fall in one year, here is the answer. Mount Baker, in the North Cascades of Washington State, holds this amazing world record, a reported 1,140 inches accumulated during the 1998-99 snowfall season. It is the youngest volcano of the Mount Baker volcanic region and the most heavily glaciated of the inhospitable Cascade volcanoes. Mount Baker (10,775 feet) is for sure one of the snowiest places on earth.

6. Snowfall Record Within 24h


The greatest amount of snow to fall within 24 hours in U.S. occurred in Silver Lake – Colorado in 1921: 76 inches of snow. Another impressive record of 63 inches was registered in Georgetown, Colorado on December 4, 1913. It can never be to cold to snow. Actually, it can snow even at incredibly low temperatures “as long as there is some source of moisture and some way to lift or cool the air.” (National Snow and Ice Data Center). However, major snowfalls occur in relatively warm temperature climates. If you are curious to know how much snow falls where you live, check out the Snowfall Table provided by the National Climatic Data Center.

5. The Longest Winter Road in the World

Wapusk Trail

Constructed each January on ice and snow, the ‘Wapusk Trail’ road has a length of 467 miles and links Gillam, Manitoba with Peawanuk, Ontario, Canada. ‘Wapusk Trail’ is the longest seasonal winter road in the world. It even got a Guinness World Records certificate. This type of ‘temporary highways’ have a crucial role in enabling goods to be delivered to communities without permanent road access. Warm weather forces the closure of the winter road staring with March, early April. Air transportation is an alternative, but it’s quite expensive.

4. Snowstorms and Bombs

snowstorms and bombs

Did you know that a single snowstorm can drop more than 39 million tons of snow, carrying the energy equivalent to 120 atomic bombs? ‘The Great Blizzard of 1888’ was one of the most devastating snowstorms to hit New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The storm dumped up to 50 inches of snow. ‘The Great Snow of 1717’, ‘The Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm’, ‘The Long Storm of November 1798’ and the ‘Portland Storm’ are other major snowstorms that struck America.

3. The Fastest Ever Half-Marathon Run Barefoot on Snow

barefoot on snow

Dutch daredevil Wim Hof holds the world record for running the fastest half marathon barefoot on snow and ice. He completed the marathon in 2 hr 16 min 34 sec near Oulu, Finland, on 26 January 2007. Hof’s stunning abilities to withstand harsh winds, snow, ice and freezing temperatures won him the nickname ‘Ice Man’.

By courageously swimming 80 meters under the North Pole ice, Wim Hof earned another Guinness World Record.

2. The Largest Snow Sculpture

snow sculpture

A team of 600 amazing sculptors unveiled at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival held on December 20, 2007 – ‘Romantic Feelings’ – the world’s largest snow sculpture. The Olympic Games were the source of inspiration for the staggering 656 ft long and 115 ft tall sculpture. This magnificent ‘landscape’ was the centerpiece of the festival opened in the Heilongjiang Province, one of China’s coldest places.

1. The Snowflake Man

snowflake man

Throughout time, snowflakes have fascinated many eminent scientists and philosophers such as René Descartes, Johannes Kepler and Robert Hooke, but the man who literally devoted his entire life to showing us the diversity and beauty of snowflakes is American Wilson A. Bentley (February 9, 1865 – December 23, 1931).

This ‘snowtastic’ Top 10 list is a tribute to Wilson Bentley, the first man to capture snow crystals on film. Known as “The Snowflake Man”, Bentley captured more than 5000 photographs of snowflakes. He received international acclaim in the 19th century for his pioneering work in the fields of photomicrography, because he perfected a process of photographing snowflakes before they either melted or sublimed.

Bentley’s legacy is an extraordinarily rich one: a vast library of detailed journals, books, published articles and over 5000 photographs of “tiny miracles of beauty”, as he often referred to snowflakes.

by Vinerean Timeea



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Have Snow Shovel, Will Travel

Snowstorms have historically plagued many states, notoriously those located in the Northeast and Midwest. Winter storms occur all over the country, but the “Snowbelt,” stretching across the Great Lakes from Minnesota to Maine, receives the brunt of winter storms. Just as the first settlers on New England’s shores struggled to survive the brutal snowstorms, so do the inhabitants of today’s metropolises. Cities such as Buffalo, New York City, Milwaukee and Detroit experience snowfalls that strand residents in snow deep enough at times to be measured in feet rather than inches. Following on the heels of a severe storm in 1993, the recent paralysis experienced along the East Coast during the storms of January 1996 provides an all-too perfect example of the effect extreme winter weather can have on the nation’s cities.

Officially, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as large amounts of falling OR blowing snow with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibility of less than 1/4 of a mile for an extended period of time (greater than 3 hours). German settlers in Iowa originally coined the word blizzard, coming from the word blitzartig, meaning “lightning-like.” European pioneers and settlers were astounded by the severity of the winters in the New World. Although accustomed to snow in their homelands, they were newly confronted with driving winds and freezing temperatures characteristic of Snowbelt regions.

Old World Settlers Combat New World Snow

Early East Coast settlements received their share of blustery storms and were battered by a series of harsh winters. Not only was the snowfall deep, but the weather was extremely cold, often freezing the bay around Boston and rivers to south as well. However, most travel was by foot, so many early storm fatalities occurred when coastal ships were caught in winter gales. Perhaps the most pressing problems for new settlers entailed shortages of wood and coal for heating homes.

As the towns grew and established routes for travel and postal service, several storms in the early 1700’s rendered the roads impassable and hindered communications. A 1717 storm dumped three to four feet of snow, which in some places drifted to 25 feet. The journey from New York to Boston was almost impossible; the single successful post runner abandoned horseback for snowshoes. For over a hundred years, this storm was known as “The Great Snow.” Other, less severe, snowstorms followed over the years, accompanied by the usual winter hardships. In 1741, frozen waterways and harbors resulted from a severe and very cold snowstorm, curtailing shipments along the East Coast for over a month.

The Blizzard of 1888
Photograph of a horse drawn sleigh taken on March 18, 1888, during the Great Blizzard. (Courtesy of the Historic National Weather Service Collection.) Larger version (43k).

Although severe weather hindered commerce, residents learned from their experiences. City residents began stockpiling firewood and other supplies in advance of winter disasters. For those who couldn’t afford enough wood or coal to warm their homes through the winters, several charities came to their aid. To improve travel, horse carts and coaches were installed with ski-like runners in wintertime, which were better able to handle snowy conditions than wheels. Of course, parties of revelers often took advantage of the snowy roads and ice-covered rivers, which proved excellent for sleigh rides.

Weather-watchers in rural areas and cities kept wary eyes on temperature and air pressure, and provided a climatological record as well as weather diaries for future reference. Beginning in the 1820s, they sent records to the Smithsonian Institution where the various reports were collected in an attempt to analyze and forecast weather. Reports were also relayed to the public via newspapers and telegraph dispatches.

As populations grew and commerce needs expanded, wintertime blizzards began to present more critical problems to city dwellers who relied on frequent deliveries of food and supplies. In severe winters, intercity roads and railways were often blocked for weeks at a time. Ice-jammed waterways prohibited coastal shipments as well. Fire hazards became a worsening problem, due not only to increased congestion of stoves and fireplaces, but also due sometimes to the extremely low temperatures that froze water in the tanks and hoses of the firefighting equipment.

Early Attempts at Snow Control and Removal

Early attempts at snow control simply involved citizens going into the streets to level the drifts for sleigh traffic. Ordinances in many cities required homeowners to clear their sidewalks of snow, but snow removal was not yet practiced on a citywide basis. In order for residents to travel by carriage, or for merchants to receive goods (and customers), they were responsible for clearing their own streets. Snow shovelers were frequently hire to do this for them. As a result, wintertime travel in the early 1800s was still mostly by foot.

As the 1800s progressed, new buildings and new technologies were put to the test by severe winter storms. Heavy, wet snow collapsed roofs and suspension bridges. Gale-force winds mangled telegraph and electrical lines and downed poles, increasing the threat of electrocution and electrically-sparked fires. Cities like Milwaukee, Chicago and New York responded to these new problems, enacting new codes to ensure that buildings could withstand the combined forces of snow and wind. Public officials and residents alike called for putting existing and future telegraph wires underground to avoid further safety hazards.

The Scoop on Snow Plows

Enterprising inventors were issued the first patents for snow plows in the 1840s, but several years passed before the plow designs were put to use. One of the first mentions of snow plow use comes from Milwaukee in 1862. The plow was attached to a cart pulled by a team of horses through the snow-clogged streets. Over the next several years, horse-drawn plows gained popularity and came into use in many other Northeastern cities. Intercity steam trains, having made their appearance several years earlier, now puffed and whistled their way through heavy drifts with giant plows attached to their front ends. Salt was used in a few cities, but was strongly protested because it ruined the streets for sleighing and damaged the shoes and clothing of pedestrians. However, the invention of the snow plow initiated widespread snow removal efforts in cities and also created a basis for municipal responsibility in snow removal.

Plows were a boon to city dwellers, enabling winter transportation to recover more rapidly from storms than in previous years. However, this solution was accompanied by a new round of problems, some of which remain with us today. Plowing cleared the main streets for traffic, but effectively blocked the side roads and sidewalks with huge, uneven mounds of compacted snow. Businessmen and townsfolk initially hailed the success of the plow, but later complained and even brought lawsuits against the plowing companies. Merchants claimed that their storefronts were completely blocked with mounds of plowed snow, making them inaccessible to their customers, and pedestrians bemoaned trying to negotiate the huge mounds which often obstructed the sidewalks. Sleigh drivers also found fault with the plowing system because of the ruts and uneven surfaces it created.

New York and other cities responded in several ways. They hired horse-drawn carts and shovelers to work in conjunction with the plows, hauling away the plowed snow and dumping it into rivers. This not only cleared the mounds of snow, but provided thousands of temporary jobs throughout the winter season. In an effort to curtail the use of salt, which many still protested, streets and icy bridges were coated with sand instead. To appease all sides, New York in the 1880s built elevated steam railways along the major routes of the city, high enough that they would not be affected by the drifts. Still in operation today, these elevated tracks proved very successful, and carried travelers through all but a few of the most severe storms. Prior to the invention of the subway, the elevated trains were often the only transport service available in storms that halted all ground travel.

The Blizzard of 1888

The Blizzard of 1888
The Great Blizzard of March 12, 1888. New York, New York. (Courtesy of the Historic National Weather Service Collection.) Larger version (43k).

In spite of these advances in their struggle against snow, the notorious “Blizzard of 1888” literally paralyzed the Northeast after three days of snow, wind and freezing temperatures. Two-and-a-half to four feet of snow fell, and drifts were reported to cover entire first stories of buildings. Carts and carriages in the streets were abandoned and buried by snow as drivers realized the futility of their endeavors. Schools, city railroads and public offices were closed, and even New York’s elevated railways were victim to the mounting drifts. A mile’s worth of passenger trains headed for New York were trapped for two days in drifts exceeding 20 feet. Tragically, over 400 people lost their lives in this storm.

Following the 1888 blizzard, cities recognized the need for more organized snow removal and looked for ways to avoid some problems altogether. Previously, city officials often waited until storms were nearly over to begin snow removal, but now realized that taking action during the first stages of a storm produced better results and more rapidly cleared roads. To combat the snow more effectively, cities were divided into sections and assigned to plow drivers. Increased numbers of plows cleared the streets with more efficiency. Driven by the ferocity of that blizzard, city officials were also more determined to bury communication wires and create alternative methods of transportation, such as trains and subways, that wouldn’t be hindered by drifting snow.

Steam trains were fairly effective at clearing their own tracks when equipped with plows. However, for shorter inner-city transport, cities tried electric trolleys with plows, which proved to be unsuccessful. Several northeastern cities had long toyed with the idea of underground railways, but in the wake of the blizzard, it was an idea whose time had come. Boston installed the first stretch of subway tracks in 1899. New York followed with its own subway five years later, and both cities extended their lines significantly over time.

Snowstorms in the Wild West

Cleared train tracks after a snow storm in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Cleared train tracks in the Sierra Nevada at Emigrant Gap, California, after a snow storm in 1917. (Courtesy of the Historic National Weather Service Collection.) Larger version (36k).

While some of the snowiest places in the West were (and still are) in remote, relatively uninhabited places, there were incidents of travelers getting caught in winter storms, often with grim consequences. In October 1846, at the beginning of what is still considered to be a record snow season, George Donner, leading a group across the Truckee Pass, just north of Tahoe City, California was surprised by an early winter blizzard. Within eight days, forty-foot drifts had accumulated, trapping the group in the mountains. They weren’t rescued until April 1847, and by then only 47 of the initial 87 remained alive amid reports of cannibalism. In winter 1873, Alferd Packer and several other gold seekers trekked into the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado. Trapped in severe winter weather, months later, only Packer returned. When the bodies of the remaining men were found, evidence indicated that they had been cannibalized by Packer, for which he was tried and convicted.

Although the sparsely populated West was not as drastically affected as the eastern metropolises, the western states also received a fair share of winter storms. In the western part of the country railroads provided a significant source of transportation especially for the mountain mining industries. Subways and elevated rails were just not practical for the vast plains and mountain passes, so steam trains battled drifts with giant rotary plows, plowing snow and blowing it away at the same time. Ranchers erected snow fences, which protected roads and prevented snow from drifting too high on their property. The burgeoning population centers of the West, such as Denver, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, soon acquired snow removal equipment to battle the winter storms. However, they were often able to rely on the sun or mild weather to melt heavy snowfalls, as they still do today.

Planes, Lanes, and Automobiles

Motorization swept the country with amazing speed in the early 20th century, leading to motorized dump trucks and plows as early as 1913. Many cities rushed to motorize their snow removal fleets, abandoning most of their horse-drawn carts. In conjunction with the new trucks, cities began to use Caterpillar tractors equipped with plow blades. To haul the snow away, they used steam shovels, cranes, and railway flatcars to get the snow off the streets and dumped into the rivers. In spite of the technological advances, manual shovelers also continued to be hired as part of the winter work force.

Another motorized invention, the Barber-Green snowloader, was successfully tried in Chicago in 1920, and several cities purchased snowloaders that same winter. The snowloader was an ingenious contraption. Riding on tractor treads, it was equipped with a giant scoop and a conveyor belt. As the snow was plowed, it was forced up the scoop, caught by the conveyor belt which carried it up and away from the street into a chute at the top where it was dropped into a dump truck parked underneath. It effectively made snow removal easier and more effective for the cities by making the process much less labor and time intensive.

Early aviation development also advanced the snow removal technology. Runways needed to be kept especially clear, prompting the first small airports to find solutions. Salt was effective only on ice and light snowfalls, and plowing mounds of heavy snow was time-consuming. To combat the snow even before it hit the ground, snow fences were constructed on the windward sides of the runways, effectively trapping snow and preventing it from blowing onto the runways. Light snow dustings were simpler to control.

New fleets of dump trucks and tractor plows were very expensive for cities to purchase and maintain, but the amount of revenue lost if the streets were not cleared was by far more expensive than snow removal equipment. As cities and businesses provided urban populations with a wide variety of goods and services on a daily basis, they were struck a financial blow when a large snowfall debilitated transportation and prohibited customers from reaching them.

New Winter Problems for Cities

An Expressway in Chicago is paralyzed after a blizzard in 1967
An aerial view of an expressway in Chicago, paralyzed after a blizzard, January 26-27, 1967. (Courtesy of the Historical National Weather Service Collection.) Larger version (44k).

It was in fact the popularity of the motorcar that would create a whole new set of problems for snow removal crews. By 1925, over seventeen million cars were registered, vastly increasing the demand for dry, safe streets. As motorcars took to the streets in force, public safety demanded snow removal efforts even for snowfalls less than four inches. Due to increased dependence on the automobile, not only main thoroughfares needed clearing, but residential streets as well. Scenic snowfalls once reminiscent of winter merrymaking became unbearable, and the freezing weather once welcomed by sleigh parties create hazardous driving conditions. Automobile accidents were rapidly rising due to weather-related conditions.

Slick layers of ice left behind by snow plowing, renewed demands for salt and sand use. No longer concerned about protests, city public works officials used salt by the ton to ease road conditions, and also experimented with cinders and sand. Motorized salt spreaders became the primary tool in fighting snowy roads, and businesses and private citizens as well used tons of salt to keep driveways, sidewalks and access routes clear of snow and ice. However, several cities in the Great Lakes region were unable to use salt due to the extremely frigid weather that rendered salt almost ineffective. In any city, while salt works well on icy roads or minimal snowfall, it does little good against deep snow.

Parked and abandoned vehicles posed the other great problem faced by snow removal crews. Urban streets now provided parking places, which in winter months hampered snowplowing efforts. Desperately needing to clear the streets, plows ended up packing huge, compacted drifts against parked cars, forcing unwary owners to dig them out. Realizing there was a conflict, city ordinances were created, banning overnight parking for certain city areas, or posting signs marking snow plow routes, where parking would be banned when plows were in use. Many of these ordinances are still in effect throughout major cities, increasing the efficiency and thoroughness of plowing efforts.

Along highways, severe blizzards stranded motorists who often abandoned their vehicles, creating nightmares for plowing crews who tried to clear around lumps of snow-covered cars. Conceding defeat, snow removal efforts in this case were (and still are) forced to tip their hats to Mother Nature. Today, winter weather still catches commuters unprepared, and inevitably highways become littered with stalled and abandoned cars during blizzards. As in the storm of 1996 that paralyzed the East Coast, several states have required federal assistance from time to time, in the form of financial aid and the aid of National Guard troops to clear streets and help remove cars from highways.

Snowy Challenges and New Technology

Well after automobile use had become widespread, shopping centers, office parks and industrial centers saw the need for private snow removal equipment of their own to clear parking lots for their employees and customers. This created a market for smaller, customized equipment, and spurred technology to develop more specialized functions. Smaller plows and snow blowers were also in growing demand by private residents who sought to escape the rigors of the old-fashioned snow shovel.

In 1959, space technology entered the snow removal effort, and satellites observed and relayed climate and weather conditions, allowing for more accurate storm forecasting. While attempts at forecasting had been made earlier through weather-watchers using telegraphs, phones, and radios to communicate, this system could not be relied on with nearly as much accuracy. Cities were able to brace themselves in advance for severe winter weather and prepare for snow removal efforts. Also, increased use of media such as radio and television helped keep the public aware of impeding hazardous situations. Most of us realize how critical this has proven in our own lives, as many of us have been able to change or curtail our plans due to televised weather forecasts warning us of incoming storms, potential snowfall amounts, temperatures and wind chill factors.

As snow removal efforts progressed, protests against salt renewed, supported both by environmentalists and motorists whose cars were being corroded by years of heavy winter salt use. Environmental experts discovered in the late 1960s that salt use was corroding cars, damaging roadside plant life, polluting water supplies (including drinking water supplies), and killing fish in streams. Motorists were weary of repairing car corrosion after each winter, and road crews were discovering that salt was corrosive to roads and bridges as well. Improved salt spreaders resulted from these finds, using more efficient spreading gauges.

Recent Wintertime Problems

Heavy winds and blowing snow wreak havoc on traffic and roads
Heavy winds and blowing snow wreak havoc on traffic and roads. A truck with a snow plow attachment clears a road in this photograph from November 10, 1998. (Courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Department of Energy. Photograph by David Parsons.) Larger version (32k).

Within the past twenty years, cities have been met with new problems, often results of solutions to previous problems. For instance, weather reports conveniently forewarn people of incoming storms and deep-freezes. Unfortunately, this often leads to careless judgments; thinking they can outrun a storm, people become stranded at stores or in traffic when the blizzard hits in force. Not only is this frustrating for those wishing to get home, but the resulting traffic jams also impede plowing efforts. Several cities have needed to call states of emergency, and restrict driving to only emergency cases.

One of the less obvious problems faced by cities is the high cost of snow removal. For instance, costs in Montreal, Canada, exceed sixty million dollars per season. There, up to two thousand workers operate vehicles and spread salt to clear the streets. While each city will vary in what type of equipment and what it needs to spend, snow removal has become a large factor in annual city budgets. Cities like Denver and Salt Lake can rely on sunshine to melt the piles of snow left along the sides of streets after plowing. Northeastern and Snowbelt cities, however, need to account for not only plowing and salting, but hauling the snow away since it may not melt rapidly enough. On top of this, each season brings new surprises; a winter with mild temperatures and little snowfall may be followed by a winter with several severe snowstorms.

Another recent problem is that of driver carelessness. Drivers should take extra precautions when driving in each new storm, even after roads have been salted or plowed. In congested city traffic defensive driving becomes critical during inclement weather. While four wheel drive vehicles have received criticism for the false sense of security they provide, they have become a necessity for mountain residents, offering better traction and handling on snow-packed roads. Motorists need to be completely aware of road conditions (icy, slushy, snowpacked, etc.). They should keep in mind any possible hazards and plan in advance for them. Motorists need to choose alternate routes when inclement weather makes normal routes treacherous and leave enough time to account for slower driving speeds and possible traffic jams. Carrying sacks of sand or kitty litter comes in handy to spread on slick spots. Those living in remote areas might want to keep spare equipment in their car or truck, such as shovels, flashlight, matches, blankets, spare clothes, food and water, in the event of becoming stranded in a storm.

Safety in Snowstorms

You may not be able to avoid living in a snowstorm prone region, but there are ways you can avoid becoming a victim of blizzards and winter storms. Stay inside if you are home, and except for emergencies, don’t leave until the storm has abated. Deaths are often caused indirectly by storms, due to traffic accidents and hypothermia (caused by overexposure to cold weather). While shoveling snow, be sure to take frequent breaks. This will not only help your sore muscles, but may also prevent any chance of a heart attack, which can be triggered by rigorous shoveling. It is ideal to stock your house even before winter begins, with non-perishable food, medicine, bottled water, baby items, wood, batteries, matches and candles. Blizzards are notorious for defying weather forecasts and arriving early, so don’t wait until the day or morning before a blizzard is expected to strike to stock up on essential supplies.

If you are caught in a storm and your vehicle is immobilized, remain in or near your car or truck unless you can see a source of help. You may want to get out and clear the exhaust pipe to prevent possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Also, set flares, tie a bright piece of cloth to the antenna, or raise the hood of your car to make yourself visible and increase your chance for rescue. Once you have done this, get back in your vehicle and remain inside. Crack a window for ventilation. Turn on the engine for ten or fifteen minutes every hour for heat, and try to keep your blood circulating by exercising from time to time, moving arms, legs, fingers and toes.

The Blizzard of 1996

In January, the “Blizzard of 1996” hit the southeastern states and worked its way up to the northeastern states, claiming over 100 lives and forcing nine northeastern and southern states to declare a state of emergency. Snowfall amounts ranged from one to four feet, with Virginia and West Virginia hit the hardest. Several states made nonemergency driving illegal, and most major airports were closed for at least a day or two, canceling thousands of flights.

A week later, while many cities were still digging out, two new storms struck the Eastern Seaboard, bringing up to a foot of additional snow. Around New York City, a church roof and two store roofs collapsed from the added weight of the new snow. For several days afterwards, many travelers were forced to trudge long distances through hip-deep snow to get to subway and train stations, as not all roads had been adequately cleared for busses or cars.

Approximate state snowfall amounts

Virginia 48 inches
West Virginia 43 inches
Maryland 33 inches
Pennsylvania 30 inches
New Jersey 28 inches
New York 28 inches
Connecticut 27 inches
Kentucky 27 inches
North Carolina 25 inches
District of Columbia 24 inches
Ohio 17 inches
Massachusetts 17 inches
Georgia 12 inches

City snowfall records

Philadelphia, PA 30 inches
Newark, NJ 28 inches
New York, NY 20 inches
Charleston, WV 19 inches
Cincinnati, OH 14 inches

Please see our Blizzard of 1996 pages.

Mother Nature continues to best our human endeavors. A 1958 New York report stated that rain was falling on the ground, yet guards were making snowballs atop the 1150 foot Empire State Building. The winter of 1977 proved especially harsh worldwide. In Buffalo, New York, snow drifts were so compacted by wind that plow blades broke trying to clear them, and halfway across the world in Japan, record heavy snows collapsed over 200 roofs. Arctic weather dipped to the southernmost part of the United States in 1985, blanketing San Antonio with 13 inches of snow, and dusting several other southern cities with snow as well. On March 13, 1993, the “White Hurricane” pummeled the entire eastern seaboard, resulting in 92 deaths. Syracuse and Boston broke snowfall records that year, and New York city struggled with snow and ice for two weeks after the storm. No doubt the Blizzard of ’96 will top records across the Northeast once again. And, as recent pleas for snow shovelers testify, the good old-fashioned snow shovel continues to be one of the most effective, time-honored tool for digging out our nation’s cities.

The Snowiest Cities in the Country

Paradise Inn during the winter of 1916-1917Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier, Washington. During the winter of 1916-1917, 789.5 inches of snow fell at Paradise Inn. When this photo was taken, in March 1917, the snow was 27 feet deep. (Courtesy of Historic National Weather Service Collection.) Larger version (35k).

Snowbelt cities dominate the list, but others, such as Denver, Salt Lake City, Omaha and Seattle also receive significant amounts of snowfall. Buffalo maintains the all-time high for snowfall in a single season, holding the record at 199 inches, all of which accumulated during the 1976/77 winter. Rochester, New York, comes in second, with 161 inches in a season, and Portland, Maine, comes in third with 141 inches in a single season. These three cities also carry some of the highest monthly totals in snowfall as well. The recent Blizzard of 1996 may help topple a few seasonal snowfall records.

In the Midwest and West, Salt Lake City, Utah, Anchorage, Alaska, and Denver, Colorado, have each received around a 100 inches or more in their record high seasons. These record highs are for cities only; however, remote mountain areas and smaller towns have received higher snowfall amounts. Paradise Ranger Station in Washington State has received over 1000 inches (or 85 feet) of snow in a single season. Sites along the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada Mountains also receive between 400 and 800 inches (or 33 to 66 feet) in a season.

Some Notable Snowstorms

February and March 1717: “The Great Snow of 1717” blanketed New England in a series of four storms, leaving nearly four feet on the ground and drifts up to 25 feet high.

January 1772: “The Washington and Jefferson Snowstorm” is so named because it trapped both men at their homes with snow up to three feet deep throughout Maryland and Virginia.

December 1778: Named after the Revolutionary War troops stationed in Rhode Island, drifts were reported to be 15 feet high after this storm.

November 1798: “The Long Storm” went down in history as the snowiest on record for that month. Stretching from Maryland to Maine, up to a foot-and-a-half of snow coated the region.

December 1811: A powerful storm buffeted New York City, Long Island, and southern New England, accompanied by gale-force winds and destructive tides that severely damaged many ships and harbors.

January 1857: “The Cold Storm” produced severe blizzard conditions along much of the eastern seaboard. Temperatures fell below 9 below zero Fahrenheit, and snowfalls were between one and two feet deep.

March 1888: The “Blizzard of ’88” produced temperatures plummeting well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, ravaging gusts of wind and deep snow drifts that stranded several cities, leaving them without transportation or communication. New York City suffered the most damage, particularly to its harbor areas.

November 1898: The “Portland Storm” was named after the ship that sank off the coast of Cape Cod, the S.S. Portland. High winds and moderately heavy snows accompanied the storm.

The Blizzard of '93 in nothern Arkansas
Even states in the southern part of the United States can get significant amounts of snow. This photo was taken in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, after the Blizzard of ’93. (Courtesy of the Historic National Weather Service Collection. Photography by Elizabeth A. Hobbs.)Larger version (40k).

January 1922: The “Knickerbocker Storm” dumped over two feet of heavy snow on Washington D.C. causing the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre to collapse, killing nearly 100 people.

December 1947: A post-Christmas storm caught New York residents by surprise, dropping two feet of snow in 24 hours.

January 1967: A series of record-breaking storms battered the west coast of Lake Michigan, hitting Chicago the hardest, shutting nearly everything down. Looting of the unattended stores became rampant, and it took the city over two weeks to clear the major highways and roads.

February 1969: New York City became trapped under a foot-and-a-half of snow. Commuters became stranded in their cars, schools closed, and travelers were stuck at airports, which were also forced to close. To make matters worse, many of the snow plows had become buried by snow in their storage lots and had to be dug out before they could be used. The city and outlying suburbs were forced to hire 10,000 shovelers and workers to clear the streets.

February 1977: Ontario, Canada and western New York state were slammed by a storm that killed 28 people and shut down the city of Buffalo for over a week. Highways were clogged with thousands of stranded vehicles, and people became trapped at schools, stores and offices, where they were forced to spend the night because they could not make it home through the blizzard.

March 1993: The “Blizzard of the Century” ravaged the southern mid-Atlantic states from Alabama to Massachusetts, accompanied in other states by severe weather disturbances such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, and floods. Snow fell at rates between an inch and two inches an hour in some areas, and many locations experienced record-breaking snowfalls and record snow depths.

January 1996: The Blizzard of 1996 was responsible for over 100 deaths and brought much of the eastern United States to a complete halt. Schools, offices and airports were closed for several days in some areas as roads were impassable. Compounding problems, two subsequent storms blasted the same areas within the following week-and-a-half.

Published in 1997. Created by Laura Cheshire. Edited by Roger G. Barry, Annette Varani, and Mike Meshek.



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Finding a Snow and Ice Management Service Provider

Are you looking for information that will help you make a good decision on hiring a snow removal service provider? SIMA has broken down the major issues for you in easy-to-read sections:

Major Issues in Snow & Ice Management
Insurance & Risk Management
Weather & Conditions
De-icing & Anti-icing
Pricing/Cost of Service
Certified Snow Professional (CSP) Program

Find a SIMA member or Certified Snow Professional (CSP) in your area by going to the directory.

The weather is too chaotic to predict accurately, and each storm or snow event is different from the last. In a city, one portion may get 3 inches of snow and ice, while another location gets only 1 inch of light snow. Local conditions can change rapidly and without warning.

In the United States:

  • Each year an average of 105 snow-producing storms affect the continental United States. A typical storm will have a snow-producing lifetime of two to five days and will bring snow to portions of several states.
  • About 70% of winter-storm-related deaths occur in automobiles. The rest are primarily due to heart attacks from over-exertions such as shoveling heavy snow or from hypothermia caused by overexposure to the cold.
  • Snow continues to challenge weather experts across the country. It is still very difficult to predict and is surprisingly hard to measure once it has fallen.

These are some of the difficulties snow and ice management professionals not only need to handle, but also run a reliable and profitable business around. SIMA’s goal is to help provide you with the information to make a good decision and to hire a professional.



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Proudly Certified By SIMA Snow And Ice Management Association!

SIMA ensures professionalism and safer communities by helping those who manage snow & ice master essential skills and practices.

Vision Statement – the picture of SIMA’s future: Over the next five to seven years, SIMA will become broadly recognized as the “go to” resource for both its members and any local or national entity related to the snow and ice management industry. A financially robust organization, SIMA will be a crucial industry force to increase the professional capacity of its members, and to promote that professionalism to those needing snow and ice management services. SIMA will provide far-reaching and farsighted leadership on legislative, regulatory, and business issues facing the industry, and will guide a vigorous and proactive industry agenda for responsible environmental stewardship. A large and diverse membership will select from a broad range of program content and delivery mechanisms that meet rapidly changing member needs. At the same time, members will increasingly enjoy and benefit from the many networking opportunities provided by their association.

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