Remembering Vermont’s big ice storm 25 years later

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 4:55 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Twenty-five years ago, northern New England was bracing for a major winter storm event-- the ice storm of January 1998.

Inches of rain-turned-ice piled up across the Champlain Valley, the St. Lawrence Valley and southern Quebec, dragging down power lines and causing thousands to lose power in the cold weather, forcing people into shelters for warmth and food.

Crews got to work as quickly as they could to help restore power.

WCAX Meteorologist Gary Sadowsky recalled the event as the most memorable storm in his professional career.

“I kept looking at some of the hourly observations that first morning out of Quebec and they are going, well freezing rain, freezing rain, freezing rain, and it was hour after hour and then you realize it’s going on for hours, and you realize they are getting a major ice storm. And then it starts moving down the Champlain Valley and the St. Lawrence Valley,” Sadowsky said.

Thursday, on the 25th anniversary of the storm, our Kevin Gaiss looks back at the damage and forward to how we better prepare for weather events now.