Although there are meteorological reasons and definitions as to why the storm that descended upon the Franklin County can’t be called a blizzard, calling it just a snowstorm doesn’t seem to be right, either.
After all, a snowfall amount of close to two feet, frigid temperatures and howling gusts of wind that pushed snow into just about every nook and cranny should have a special name ... and no, the decision by the Weather Channel to tag each winter storm with a name similar to what is done with hurricanes doesn’t count.
We’ll just call this storm “impressive.”
Thankfully, though, despite all of the snow, it didn’t cause much in the way of damage. Franklin County and much of the rest of western Massachusetts avoided the kind of pounding that took place along the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut coastlines. And locally, there aren’t that many people still waiting for the lights to come back on. Along its route, this February nor’easter knocked out electrical power to 650,000 homes and businesses from Maine to Pennsylvania. The Associated Press was reporting Monday morning that more than 120,000 electrical customers were waiting to have their power restored, though that’s quite an improvement from the more than 400,000 in the state, including most of Cape Cod that lost electricity.
That’s not to say this storm didn’t create problems. Businesses lost revenue because they couldn’t, or didn’t, open because of the weather. And then there was the whole digging out — with the amount of snow that some communities had, there comes a point where it seems there’s no place to put it.
Still, there’s a lot that seems to have gone right this time around, especially when compared to similar types of storms, particularly the Blizzard of 1978.
With this storm, no one can say they were caught off guard. Advanced technology and computer modeling are aiding forecasters and meteorologists in providing a more accurate picture of what is going to happen.
And most people, including government officials, are paying attention.
Having Gov. Deval Patrick declare a travel ban made infinite sense in trying to ensure that people stayed off the roads ... the threat of hefty fines got everyone’s attention. Think back to 1978 and the scenes of vehicles abandoned in the snow.
It’s not just cutting down on the need to send emergency personnel out to rescue someone and therefore putting themselves at risk — snowplow crews are able to get their work done more efficiently.
Overall, for Franklin County the storm was an impressive reminder of what Mother Nature can do, but thankfully, it wasn’t a disaster.