The huge lake-effect snow of Feb. 15-16, 1958

Dear Tom,
Northwest Indiana has received a ton of lake-effect snow since Christmas. I vaguely remember a huge lake-effect snow event there in the 1950s or ’60s. Can you confirm?
— Ruth Schaffer
Dear Ruth,
You are correct. On Feb. 15-16, 1958, one of the biggest Lake Michigan snow events on record buried Michigan City with more than 40 inches of snow in about 36 hours. The strong winds blowing arctic air down the full length of the lake piled the snow into huge drifts, some as high as 15 feet. The snow was so deep that bulldozers were needed to help the town dig out. The area of the exceptionally heavy snow was small, and initially neighboring communities thought the snowstorm was a hoax because skies as close as Gary were clear. Nearby LaPorte received 5 feet of snow in February 1958, much of it falling during that storm.