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It's good it wasn't snow!

Published March 11. 2011 05:00PM

For weather aficionados, today's a special anniversary.

It's the day the Blizzard of 1888 started on the East Coast.

During that event, New York City was hit with 55 inches of snow , while locally drifts were reported 15 feet deep.

Had yesterday's deluge been all snow, the amount would have rivaled the accumulation of 123 years ago.

According to the National Weather Service, 4.37 inches of rain fell in Meckesville, Penn Forest Township. Using the ratio of one inch of rain equaling one inch of snow, we could potentially have gotten whacked with 4 1/2 feet of the winter flakes.

Other rainfall totals listed by the National Weather Service were 3.47 inches in Lehighton, 4.14 inches in Blakeslee, 4.02 inches in Walnutport, and 3.32 inches in Tamaqua.

The heavy rains created a plethora of problems.

Basements filled with water, working sump pumps heavily and in some cases necessitatingn response from fire department personnel to pump out the water.

Some motorists found roads closed and had to take detours getting to work this morning.

The list of road closures at 8 a.m. this morning, according to PennDOT's District 5-0 office, include:

Carbon County

• Country Club Road between PA 443 and Mahoning Drive in Mahoning Township.

• PA 895 between Hollow and Berger Creek roads in East Penn Township.

• Lower Smith Gap Road between Little Gap Road and Blue Mountain Drive in Lower Towamensing Township.

Lehigh County

• Mosserville/Mountain Road is restricted to one lane at the intersection with Translator Lane in Washington Township.

• Best Station Road is restricted to one lane in Heidelberg Township.

Schuylkill County

• Interstate 81 north is restricted to one lane at Exit 131 (Mahanoy City) due to numerous potholes.

• PA 54 is closed between Main and Tenth streets in Mahanoy City.

Last night, Route 209 had to be closed at the base of the Mansion House Hill in Jim Thorpe because of ponding of water.

Woodrow Frey Sr. of Franklin Township said flooding wasn't as bad today as it was in 2006, when 14 inches of rain fell in one summer week.

He said four inches of rain fell in 24 hours between Thursday morning and today. It was enough to cause flooding of Long Run Road.

The flooding resulted in school cancellations and delays throughout northeastern Pa. Mahanoy Area School District canceled classes today. Pleasant Valley and North Schuylkill school districts had two-hour delays.

No delays were necessary in the Carbon County school district since classes were already cancelled for educator in-service programs.

At least one regional death is attributed to the storm.

In Schuylkill County, David H. Sallada, 74, of Tremont, died when his car was swept off a country road by flood waters.

He died in submerged water.

Sallada reportedly drove around the barraicades and into the flooded roadway.

As his vehicle entered the flooded area the car lost traction with the road and began to float.

As for the Blizzard of '88, historical accounts say that on March 10, the day before the heavy snow, temperatures in the Northeast hovered in the mid 50s.

But on March 11, an Arctic cold front dipped down from Canada and collided with Gulf air from the south. The temperatures plunged.

Rain turned to snow and winds reached hurricane-strength levels.

Since we're nearing the middle of March, there's a good chance we're finished with snow for the year, but there's no guarantee.

On March 20. 1958, the local area dug out of a storm that dumped 21 inches of snow on much of the area, and disrupted electrical power in Lehighton for over three hours.

On March 24, 1765, over two feet of snow fell from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.

On April 5-7 in 1982, a late-season storm produced near-blizzard conditions from Pennsylvania to New England.

In 1830, a May snowstorm killed returning swallows.

And who can forget the "Superstorm" on March 12, 1983, which resulted in 270 deaths, and had snowfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour?

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