March 4 1966 Snow Storm

By: plapman , 8:14 PM GMT on March 02, 2012

Today will see sow ending this afternoon then cloudy with a 60% chance of flurries. Allthough there is only 2 to 4 cm(0.8 to 1.6 in) the wind north at 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) is causing blowing snow and the temps to drop to -9C(15F) this afternoon.
Tonight will be cloudy with a 60%chance of flurries this evening and after midnight and more blowing snow this evening. Wind north 40 km/h (25 mph) gusting to 60 km/h (37 mph) The wind will be light near midnight wwith an overnight low of -15C(5F).
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I'm late getting on today as I had to clear the driveway so the Queen and me could make a grocery run
Though snow storms in March are uncommon there have been some really big ones. I think the biggest in history ocoured on March 6, 1966. It virtally shut down the city of Winnipeg. Here's a description from the Winnipeg Free Press.
The Day Winnipeg was Paralysed

by George Siamandas

I remember that storm–(Dave Sawatzky)
If you are over 40 and have lived in Winnipeg your whole life you likely remember the Blizzard of 1966. It occurred on Mar 4, a Friday and it shut down Winnipeg like it had never been shut down before. The buses stopped running. Snowmobiles took nurses and doctors to work and thousands of people were stuck downtown and slept overnight at Eatons and the Bay.

The winter of early 1966 was the third coldest year of the century, with 1950 and 1917 even colder. January 1966 tied January 1875 for the coldest month since records were kept at Red River. In February 1966 Winnipeg reached -49 the lowest February temperature ever recorded and the second coldest day ever. Winnipeg did not see the temperature go above zero for 90 days. But the year till then was without much snow.

Snow started to fall after midnight on Thursday and despite the heavy snow, on Friday morning March 4, people still went to work. But by mid morning the streets were impassable. The buses were called in by 11:00 am. and would not return to the streets till the next Saturday morning. Schools closed for the Friday and the following Monday as did stores, restaurants and theatres. The big storm piled up 14.6 inches and was driven by winds gusting up to 70 miles an hour. This was the worst winter storm since March 1902. Eight foot high drifts were reported in the new suburb of Westwood. After the cleanup the plows created 12 foot high walls of snow along Ness Ave. Hundreds of cars were reported stranded on the Transcanada Highway. The Grain Exchange did not open for the first time in its 61 year history.

Mayor Juba was awakened by a CJOB reporter and told of the blizzard. He was able to make his way to City Hall in his big Cadillac where he set up an emergency headquarters. By afternoon city hall itself had become a shelter for people that could not make their way home. Chief George Blow urged people to stay off the streets
Snowmobiles were given to the police. Volunteers operated snowmobiles to take people to hospital and to deliver drugs to patients. CB radios were used for the first time to create an emergency communications network. Ken Dunston was CBC radio’s man that morning and the station became part of the emergency civil defense network. Unable to get home, CBC staff stayed at the Mall hotel for the night.

The buses were pulled off the streets. Soon those that could not walk home were stuck wherever they were. Thousands of people were stranded at City Hall and at Stores like Eatons and the Bay. And 1600 people were reported stranded at Eatons and the Bay. Eatons looked after 700 of its own staff and 400 customers. The women slept on the 9th floor and the men on the 7th. Fifty hockey players from Winnipeg neighbourhoods were stuck in Lorrette

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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3. Ylee
9:28 AM GMT on March 03, 2012
Hey, Tony, I wonder how many babies were born in Winnepeg In Dec., 1966? ;-)

Have a nice Saturday!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. unclemush
11:52 PM GMT on March 02, 2012
Hi Tony.We just around a foot of wet snow with 30 mph winds.They had to close roads,schools ect.Maybe another 4in.tonight.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. Alleyoops
9:02 PM GMT on March 02, 2012
Hi Tony, glad all is well with you and that you hopefully are over the worse of snowfalls for this year. I remember people talking about the Winnipeg storm and the large dumping of snow that blew through. Thank goodness we don't have storms like that too often anymore. The last blizzard I lived through was the one where Mayor Mell Lastman called in the soldiers to help with getting the city running again. We had wonderful snowplow folks come out of Buffalo to help us as well and we are so thankful for their expertise. It made snow removal so much more efficient with qualifed people at the helm. I of course took the day off as it was not a patient day with only catch up paperwork to do. I went in on the wknd and did that once the streets were open and traffic moving again. All I can say is thankfully we don't get storms like that in this area but it has been known to have severe ice storms that will close this section of the 40l...I guess that is just as bad.

Have a wonderful afternoon dear one. Soon time to feed my little girl outside. I am sure with the temps cooling down and with the rain which we seem to be getting now, she will be hungry soon.
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