On the evening of 11 March 1888, the Great White Hurricane began with rain, which then turned into heavy snow with strong winds reaching 85 miles per hour. The drifts of snow were as high as 30 feet. People were stuck in their houses. Trains could not operate on elevated tracks. Fifteen thousand passengers were stranded in them for hours. Over the course of 36 hours, hundreds of people died.
The First Doctor, Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright witnessed this event first-hand when they visited New York City. Barbara remembered it being described in history books as the worst snowstorm to hit heavily populated areas. (AUDIO: The Great White Hurricane)