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Capital Region

Remembering the storm of 1987

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Albany/HV: Remembering the storm of 1987
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A quarter of a century later and folks around our area still remember the surprise snowstorm that crippled the Capital Region. Our Lori Chung takes a look back.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- "It was like, I'll say guns going off constantly," said Lani Zimmerman.

Twenty-five years later and Zimmerman still remembers the unnerving sound of tree limbs cracking under the weight of an onslaught of heavy, wet snow, dumped by a surprise nor'easter near the start of fall.

Zimmerman said, "We have pine trees all around our house and it would be falling on the roof and sliding down."

The pictures from 1987 say it all.

"The stuff was about three or four times heavier than regular snow that we see, say in January, and that weight being on trees with leaves that were catching everything and then jostling around with some of the wind, basically just took them down," said Warren Snyder, National Weather Service Operations Officer.

According to the National Weather Service, some areas saw between six inches to two feet of the stuff. Unhampered by the warmth of the sun, an overnight rain Saturday night chilled a layer of atmosphere enough to cause this.

Snyder said, "The heavy rains fell, eventually it cooled that layer to the point the snow began reaching first the higher terrain, then it worked its way all the way down to the valley.”

The result downed trees and power lines and outages that lasted for weeks.

"It was bad you couldn't cook, you couldn’t do anything," one person recalled.

"I guess we'll call it a recreation time for five days until the power came back on," another recalled.

On our Facebook page, RJ Ferritto tells us "seven days with no power... what fun." We're going to assume some sarcasm there. Jordam Simpson says "we lost 300 dollars of meat that was in our freezer." A loss that clearly still stings decades later. And Ashley Mullaney Soliz said "power was out for a week at least and my dog got lost... luckily we got him back after a few days." Twenty-five years later, we may have found out where he was that whole time.

"In the midst of the storm, ironically appeared this lovely German shepard," Zimmerman said. "We fed him and he slept on the deck outside and then once the snow disappeared, the dog went home."

Jury's still out on whether we solved that mystery, but weather experts call it a once in a century event, not likely to pop up on the radar again anytime soon. But when it comes to the weather, you really never know.

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