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Pat Shingleton: "Blizzard of '88 and Scotia Plaza..."

1 year 10 months 4 weeks ago Wednesday, February 19 2020 Feb 19, 2020 February 19, 2020 9:00 AM February 19, 2020 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton:

"The storm paralyzed the entire Northeast, immobilizing everyone. New York and D.C. were cut-off from the rest of the country. Albany picked up 47 inches of snow and Troy, NY, recorded 55 inches.  Trains inbound and outbound of New York City were foundered in drifted snow, paralyzing the rail system.  Ferry crossings were rendered impossible as the Brooklyn Bridge became Manhattan's last link with the outside world.  Ice floes, wedged together on the East River formed a tenuous crossing.  The tide went out, the ice broke, leaving 100 trapped on the floes..." These were excerpts from the "Old Farmer's Almanac, Acts of God" concerning the blizzard of 1888 where meteorologists claim a storm this size occurs once every four hundred years. Another item, some believe Egypt’s pyramids were duplicates of wind-shaped sand dunes.  Today, where a building is located and the direction it faces is often determined by the measure of the wind.  Toronto’s 68-story Scotia Plaza was designed after engineers and architects tested the orientation of the persistent wind and it was constructed with beveled, saw tooth facades. The wind is a prime factor when a building is 20 stories in height and often it can peel steel cladding, rattle and crash windows to the street below. When a structure ages, stresses on its frame can shorten its useful life.  In July, 1992, strong winds toppled a 40-story radio tower in the Midwest.  

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