Local residents talk about the memorable 'blizzard of 2013'

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Feb. 12, 2013
Hebron residents awoke to find more than 2 feet of snow on the ground, with flakes still falling, and a travel ban imposed by Gov. Malloy. Total snowfall accumulation for the area was approximately 3 feet. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Hebron residents awoke to find more than 2 feet of snow on the ground, with flakes still falling, and a travel ban imposed by Gov. Malloy. Total snowfall accumulation for the area was approximately 3 feet. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Residents in the Hebron/Columbia area all agreed that the blizzard of 2013 would not soon be forgotten. “I believe this is the worst storm I have ever seen,” said Andover resident Pam Quint. “Governor Malloy was smart to close the state.” Though Quint reported that the Community Emergency Response Team was on standby to open a warming shelter, Andover homes never lost power. “Many of our neighbors tried to help each other by sharing equipment and young, strong bodies to clean up,” said Quint.

“We are very proactive,” said Amston resident Paula Verrier. “We go out and clean up the yard, driveway, walkways, etc., and remove any obstacles. I embark on a cooking frenzy… All the laundry is done and bottles of water frozen in case of a power outage.” After the snow started, “I went out every hour or so on Friday night to clean off the patio, make sure the power vent was clear of buildup and play with the dog,” said Verrier.

Verrier and her husband used a snow thrower to clear on both Friday night and Saturday. “Breaking it down into smaller pieces definitely helped the dig out,” she said. Despite having a snow thrower, “The snow was up too high for me to even get there on foot to clean off the front steps,” said Verrier. As of Monday, “I cannot open the front door but a mere quarter inch," she said.

This blizzard produced “by far the most amount of snow I’ve ever experienced in one snow storm," said Andover resident Dianne Grenier. "With that much snow, it’s a life-altering experience - life as we know it comes to a standstill,” said Grenier. “And that might not be all bad.”

The area was fortunate not to experience the high winds that had been predicted, and most of Andover was spared power outages, said Grenier. “With life as we know it shut down from Friday through Sunday, it allowed people time to address the concerns of digging out from under 3 feet of snow,” she said. Grenier herself was lucky enough to have a neighbor with a bucket loader and an industrial-strength snow blower. “Some enterprising young people in the neighborhood notified residents they were available for snow shoveling,” she said. “I was quick to take up their offer. They shoveled the walk and, with a little instruction, learned how to use a roof rake.”

Comparing this blizzard to recent storms, Grenier said that snow removal was easier to deal with than a home without power, heat and water. “We are hardy New Englanders,” she said. “We get these types of weather events from time to time.”

“While I can recall prior years when we received a great deal of snow, including 2011 most recently, I cannot remember a year when so much fell so quickly,” said Hebron resident Kevin Williams. “I've been a resident of Hebron for well over 40 years, and this is the first time I can recall the challenge of clearing a driveway only to have another foot on the ground less than four hours later. Add to that the impressive drifts, and it's been a storm we won't soon forget.”

Hebron resident David Morrison said he measured 32 inches of snow in areas of his yard, not counting drifts. Like most Hebron residents, Morrison never lost power. But he spent 17 hours over several days removing snow from his 250-foot stone driveway, walks and decks. “My body is especially sore in those already sore spots,” he said.


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