Remembering the Blizzard of '96, the storm that crippled the East Coast

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Friday, January 6, 2023
Blizzard of 1996 strikes New York region
This is original Eyewitness News coverage from Jan. 8, 1996.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was 27 years ago that the northeastern U.S. was hit by one of the most devastating winter storms ever: the Blizzard of 1996.

So how bad was it? Parts of the Tri-State were blanketed in more than two feet of snow.

On the 25th anniversary in 2021, Lee Goldberg remembered the Blizzard of 1996.

It was a perfect setup -- a strong low-pressure system in just the right place, tapping plenty of frigid air from a high-pressure system to the north in a process known as cold-air damming. Significant snow fell from New England to the Mid-Atlantic.

Once the cleanup got underway, unusually warm weather and rain followed, triggering major flooding.

ACCUWEATHER: | Major nor'easter to dump heavy snow on NYC, Tri-State

The storm and the flooding were blamed for more than 180 deaths, and $3 billion dollars of damage.

The blizzard is on record as the 6th biggest snowstorm in New York City.

Below, check out our original coverage with Bill Beutel and the Eyewitness News team from Jan. 8, 1996.

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