50 years ago today, the Blizzard of ’67 brought Chicago to a standstill

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CHICAGO — A horrific blizzard was the last thing on the mind of many Chicagoans 50 years ago Thursday. After all, the city had just come off five consecutive days with high temperatures of 50 degrees or warmer, including a record breaking 65 degrees two days prior (January 24).  There were also Spring-like thunderstorms and even a few funnel clouds in the southwest suburbs.

It was 5:02 a.m. on January 26, 1967 and the first flakes of snow began to fall harmlessly to the ground. By 10:10 a.m. on January 27th, a record 23.0” crippled the city.

The heaviest of the snow fell during the morning and early afternoon when snow rates were measured at two inches per hour and brought rush hour traffic to a standstill.

The heavy snow was coupled with 50+ mph wind gusts produced 4-6 foot drifts.

At least 20,000 cars were abandoned on area thoroughfares and 1100 CTA buses reported as stranded. Snow records date back to 1884 and the 1967 blizzard still ranks as Chicago’s heaviest storm.

Tomorrow on the WGN News at Nine, we will have one woman’s story of that blizzard and the birth of her son.

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