Saturday, February 2, 2013

Drifts 10 Feet High, 1904

As is the case today, snowstorms a century ago had the ability to cripple the transportation network, bringing both street railways and steam railroads to a standstill.  One such storm in mid-December 1904 witnessed tall drifts that covered rail lines, temporarily disrupting service until plows could clear them.

Country About Middleboro Effectively Tied Up by the Snow and Roads Open Slowly.

MIDDLEBORO, Dec. 18 - The country about here is more effectively tied up, as a result of the northeast snow storm last night, than since the big November storm in 1898.

Snow more than a foot deep on the level has drifted as high as 10 feet and has completely blocked some of the outside roads.  It may be a couple of days before they are broken out.

For the third time in a week the electric roads have had to dig themselves out.  The tracks were banked high in some places by snow thrown from the tracks earlier, and today's snow was with difficulty got out of the way.

The Old Colony [street rail]road had its big rotary plow out in charge of Supt. J. H. Hayes, and made trips all night to and from the four corners to the car house at Lakeville.

Blinding snow swept across lake Assawampsett, carried by the high northeaster, and packed hard on the tracks along the lake shore for more than a mile.  In these big drifts the rotary was given all the work it was capable of to keep the way open.  A nose plow was run with it to scrape the snow which the rotary left on the tracks.

No effort was made till nearly nightfall today to run the passenger cars.

The East Taunton road was the first to get passenger cars through, that being shortly after 11 this morning.  Its plows encountered drifts nearly as high as a car in the section through North Lakeville.

Trolley with Plow, South Main Street, Middleborough, MA, photograph, early 20th century.

"Drifts 10 Feet High", Brockton Enterprise, December 18, 1904.


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