What is Chicago’s worst ice storm on record?

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Dear Tom,
The worst ice storm, like none I have ever experienced in Chicago, happened in the mid- to late 1960s. Do you remember it?
— David Wechsler

Dear David,
We certainly do and Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski was able to refresh our memories. The massive ice storm glazed the Chicago area on Jan. 23-24, 1965. Area utility companies consider it to be one of the worst on record, second only to one on New Year’s Day, 1948. Damage from the 1965 storm was estimated to be in the millions of dollars with the north and west suburbs hardest hit. Power was out for days. Damage in the city was limited, but ice coated almost everything. Icy roads made travel nearly impossible, forcing many schools and businesses to close, and hospitals reported a rash of injuries from falls. Countless trees were toppled and many basements flooded due to the lack of power to run sump pumps.

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