Ice is definitely much worse than snow. I have lived in upstate NY all my life, and I don’t remember having severe power outages caused by snow storms. Well, maybe a short term power failure of a few hours if somebody took out a power pole due to nasty driving conditions.
We had two ice storms in Rochester, the first about 12 years ago where I was without power for 5 days, and many waited almost two weeks before it was restored.
The worst snow fall I remember was between Christmas and New Year of 1968 when I was a junior in high school. That blizzard went on for three days, and while I don’t know the "official" snow fall, we accumulated about 4 feet of snow with drifts over 10 feet tall. The city had get the governor to call out the National Guard engineering battalion with their heavy earth moviing equipment to help clear the streest. Regular plows couldn’t touch the stuff. My friends and I were very upset at Mother Natures timing in placing such a severe storm when we were already out of school for Christmas break. [:(]
I experienced a similar storm in Rochester during my sophmore year at RIT in 1972. It started snowing early Friday AM, and most schools and businesses were closing early due to the accumulation. It kept snowing until Sunday, and I remember seeing about 4 feet of snow at the least. Across the famous 1/4 mile walk between dorms and the campus, there are lights which had large white globes on top of 9 foot high poles. The snow was touching the bottom of some globes, and others were just peaking out from the drifts.
This blizzard was nothing by comparison.