Valentine’s Day Snow Storm, 11 Years Later

WILKES-BARRE -- It has been 11 years since the Valentine's Day snow storm hit our area. Still, all this time later, the holiday brings back memories from the day the sweetest holiday of the year became the snowiest.

"I just remember being at work on South Franklin Street, and just watching it accumulate throughout the day," said Michelle Grimes of Kingston.

The Valentine's Day Snow Storm of 2007 dumped close to 20 inches of snow, sleet, and ice and stranded tens of thousands of drivers on highways for hours and hours, especially on Interstate 81.

"It wasn't really busy at work, so we called over to the main office and they said 'Oh, we closed at 1,' and it was 3 o'clock at this point, so I ended up walking home, and I know a lot of my co-workers got stuck on the way home because it was just impossible to drive in," Grimes explained.

Just about everyone Newswatch 16 met Wednesday on Public Square in Downtown Wilkes-Barre remembers where they were and what they were doing. Most say they were home watching it on the news.

"I remember it was a big deal. Interstate 80 was shut down. Traffic was backed up. I know people waited for hours on the highway," said Dan Werner of Bear Creek.

The show still had to go on despite the snow for flower shops in the area. For them, it is the busiest and most important day of the year.

"With the three trucks that were out on delivery, they spent more time moving people out of their way with delivering. People actually could not believe we were out in the middle of the storm," said Anna Wadas, the owner of A & M Floral Express in Wilkes-Barre.

Employees there watched the forecast in the days leading up to the storm. They made some deliveries the day before, but most went out the day of, and right in the middle of it all.

"If it became a problem, home deliveries were still made. If you were working in a hospital, they were made. It's what we do," Wadas explained.

It even impacted Newswatch 16, too. Reporter Ryan Leckey and his photographer Dave Jones were stuck on I-81 for more than 15 hours.

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