October Snow?!?!

October 29, 2011.  A freak snowstorm is on the way.  Snow was supposed to start at 4:30 pm and go through the night, with some concerns about power outages due to the heaviness of the snow and the amount of leaves still left on the trees.  We were a little concerned about the trees in the back of the yard that were still full, but hopeful for the one that had already lost its leaves, which is the most beautiful tree in our yard.

The snow actually started at lunchtime, and within an hour the ground was covered.  And so it went for the rest of the night.  We watched branches crash to the ground out of the poplar trees in the back, weighted down by the snow on the leaves.  As it got dark, it was hard to see what was going on, but if we shined a flashlight out the window, we could get an idea of the mess.  As the night went on, you would hear a crack and then a thud as more debris fell to the ground, and we would hear this really often.  And then as we made our way from window to window, realized we were losing major branches from our beloved tree, which had no leaves on it to weight it down.

It has been estimated that the snow weighed 40 pounds per square foot, which is incredibly heavy.  We think we got about 15 inches of snow altogether.  The power went out around 4:30 pm, and it returned Sunday, November 6 at 1:20 am, though we were at the hospital at that point.  Luckily we have both a fireplace (and had lots of wood from the yard clearing we did last year) and a gas stove top, so we could at least "cook" that way.  The fireplace was running for almost 6 days straight which means all of our clothes, towels, linens, etc. (still) smell of woodsmoke until they've been washed.  The laundry has been endless.  Not to mention the fact that I had one load in the washing machine and one in the dryer when the power went out, both of which needed to be rewashed, and I think I've done at least 7 additional loads since then.

Our "refrigerator".

Drying clothes by the fire.

We are thankful to our friends down toward the shoreline, who never lost their power and had us down on Halloween evening to shower, and Gus even got to go trick-or-treating for the first time, so his homemade costume wasn't wasted (more on that to come), and to our neighbors around the corner who had a generator (that the hubs had hooked up) and let us shower there.

Our yard and neighborhood did not fare so well.  Trees that have stood for decades now need to be taken down due to loss of limbs, some being uprooted completely, as was the case with our neighbor's two birch trees.  Another neighbor has a giant limb on her garage roof, the one next to them had a branch go through an upstairs window, the one across the street had a pine tree fall over across the street, coming to rest on the power lines.  My poor husband, who has spent so much time making our yard look so nice, has had to watch all of his time and effort (and money) come literally crashing down.  We have 9 or 10 poplar trees in the way back, 8 of which we think need to be taken down because they look like toothpicks.  We don't know if the ash tree, our most favorite and holder of Gus's swing, will survive.  We're going to wait until spring on that one.  One small oak has had all of its top branches snapped off, so that one is going to have to come down as well.  A maple in the front has to be trimmed back and another junky tree in the front will probably need to be taken down.  We have basically tripled our firewood supply just from the limbs alone.

All in all we are grateful to have survived the ordeal as best as we did, and that our house and family are all in good shape.  No one can remember ever seeing anything like this in the state ever.  The previous record for snowfall in October was something like one inch.  It just doesn't happen.  Our town was one of the hardest hit and we still have residents out of power.  The hubs is exhausted from clearing brush, which has been piled on the curbside, hopefully for pickup by some organization chosen by the town.

We're hoping this never happens again.


  1. it has been so amazing to see the pictures sent in from this storm. It's insane to think this freak snow storm did way more damage than Irene caused... We essentially had two of the worst storms in history two months in a row! So sorry to hear of your lovely trees, but so glad none of them crashed through your home. I hope life is returning back to normal for you... glad you're all ok!

    -rachel w k

  2. Wow...incredible...so much snow so early in the season.

    Too bad about the trees.


  3. We lost what few trees we had left after our June tornados, so many trees gone! and most of our fence too, but were one of the first to have power return which meant we were the designated showering location as well as the dirty laundry and dirty dishes drop off for our large extended family. I'll bet you've never been so happy to have a fireplace, kept you from a burst pipe or two!

  4. Wow, that is amazing. we got it all too, but the aftermath and clean up were far less than our surrounding areas. Glad to hear you are all ok, thanks for sharing the pictures, and your story.

  5. Ugh, man. As unpleasant as it was, at least everybody is safe and sound.

    I hope your favorite tree pulls through!

  6. So sorry about your trees. :( So strange to think of this snow storm in October. The weather has been absolutely crazy the past few years and only seems to be getting crazier! It sort of reminds me of the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I hope the clean up process is going smoothly and that you're finally able to have things settle down a bit!

  7. Wow, 40 lbs? That is some heavy snow. Our weather man was calling the snow "heart attack" snow. Now I know why! Amazing photos.

  8. Glad you're ok!! Good to have you back online!!