Last October 96 I traveled to Maine/New Hampshire and Mass. to view the fall foliage. It turns out we were about to head into one of the worst Northeast storms in 40 years.
Initially we went to Mt. Washington, N.H. (Site of the world's highest wind speed 234mph). We got to the top, and expected it to be a little windy, but were faced with winds gusting to 99mph, and sustained winds of nearly 76 mph (hurricane force winds). The temperature was around 22 degrees at the top, and fortunately I brought my light jacket along. This was just enough to allow the jacket to freeze to my chest, with ice forming vertically on my hair. There was freezing rain being driven by these ferocious winds. It was a little scary driving the car in these conditions, as you can imagine.
Well we thought this was going to be the worst of the weather on the trip, but were we ever wrong. At the time that we arrived to the coast of Maine (around Old Orchard Beach) the Nor'Easter was just hitting there. We decided to quit driving and find a hotel. We thought it would be exciting to stay on the beach. I pulled into the lobby area of the hotel, and asked the owner if their place has ever flooded, and was there any risk. The hotel owner said "Son, I have lived here over 35 years, and this hotel has never flooded. Well that convinced me...I felt safe!!!! We decided to go for dinner at a local Maine hangout, and as my girlfriend opened the car door it swung into the car next to hers with such ferocity that it dented the car. At this point the winds were gusting to nearly 73 mph, and the rain was falling sideways.
After dinner we drove back to the hotel, and by this time the winds were sustained between 55-60 mph and gusts at nearly 75mph. I tried to sleep that night, but the walls were shaking, and the wind was roaring through every crack possible.
I finally fell asleep, but morning came with a vengeance as the phone rang at 650am, with the owner of the hotel saying "YOU HAVE TO MOVE YOUR CAR THE WATER IS SURROUNDING THE HOTEL" So I went outside half asleep in some shorts..barefoot, with the winds still blowing between 50-70 mph. Not to mention the temperature was around 44 degrees.
Well to get to the end of the story, it rained nearly 17 inches overnight, and the hotel was surrounded by floodwaters of nearly 4 feet. People were being rescued all over town by firemen on jet skis. We had to wade from the hotel room with water up to our chests, with the suitcases held above our heads. We managed to park on a hill, as most of the city was under water. Many of the roads back to Boston were closed because of flooding, but I managed to make it back in about 7 hrs from Maine to Boston........... What a trip!!!!!