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Detroit's worst snowstorms [View All]

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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-11 12:43 PM
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Detroit's worst snowstorms
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A lot of terrific stuff like the linked article is available in this little known section of the Detroit News' website.

Detroit's worst snowstorms
By Vivian M. Baulch / The Detroit News
January 31, 2002

"You people don't know what snow is," grandpa used to say. "When I was a boy we had REAL snowstorms and we had to walk . . . yakkity yakkity yak. . . "
Well, chalk up one for grandpa. It seems he was right.

The worst snowstorm in Detroit history came in early April, 1886, and dumped 24.5 inches of the white stuff on the city. Accompanying winds caused drifts up to 12 feet high in some places. The second worst storm in 1974 brought us a mere 19.2 inches.

The Detroit News editions of April 6, 1886, reported that "Snow began at 12:30 a.m. and fell light until about 4 a.m., when it began to fall heavy . . . a tremendous fall of snow continued all day, ending at 9 p.m.

"The fall at 7 a.m. was 4.6 inches and at 3 p.m. was 17.1 inches and at 11 p.m. 24 inches, making a total of 24.5 inches fall of unmelted snow.

"The rain gauge was soon snowed full and was practically useless.

"The drifts in some places were 12 feet high and the snow in the streets was from 10 to 40 inches deep.

"A heavy north gale set in at 1:45 a.m. and raged in fury all day, reaching 40 miles north at 2:15 p.m. and continuing all the remainder of the day. Its force with the snow was appalling. It blew the snow in fine particles against the face, cutting like a knife.

"The streetcar company attempted to run cars in the morning with six and eight horses until 10 a.m. when every line in the city was abandoned, streetcars laying in all positions on the street.

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From The Detroit News:
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