If you live in or traveled through the Eastern United States during the last week of January, you probably felt the effects of the Blizzard of 2016. More than 60 Million people were under blizzard, winter storm, or freezing rain warnings, thanks to winter storm Jonas. Some were hit harder than others. Baltimore, Allentown, and Harrisburg posted the deepest snowfall on record for their cities.
Shepherdstown, WV, was buried under 42 inches of snow. Wind gusts exceeded 70 mph in at least five states. At the height of the storm, a quarter of a million homes in the Mid-Atlantic region were without power. Travelers were grounded, as more than 10,000 flights were cancelled. And despite travel bans in New York, Maryland, and parts of Delaware, the storm’s death toll managed to reach 28, due to accidents, shoveling and hypothermia.
The District of Columbia doled out over $1.4 million in tickets, issued to 5,479 cars parked along snow emergency routes; 690 of those cars were towed, bringing the unlucky owners’ tickets to $350 each. The US House of Representatives shut down for the entire week. And on Tuesday, when Senators Lisa Murkowski and presiding Senator Susan Collins convened on the Senate floor, they couldn’t help but notice something was “genuinely different…and genuinely fabulous,” as there wasn’t a male in sight. The parliamentarians, floor managers, pages and U.S. Senators in attendance were all women. One can only speculate that the men, like the National Zoo’s panda-dad Tian Tian, were frolicking in the snow.
In New York City, which received 26.8 inches of snow, the cost of snow clean-up is estimated at $1.8 million per inch – that’s almost $50 million, and a tiny fraction of the storm’s $1 billion impact on the region.
But how did Jonas stack up against winters past? We thought you’d like to know. That’s why we put together this month’s infographic, Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
The Germans have a word for finding pleasure in the misfortune of others. It’s “Schadenfreude.” And if you’re the kind of person who gets a kick out of someone else’s troubles, you’re going to love these statistics. Enjoy!