Chicago’s April 1975 snowstorm

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Dear Tom,
I remember a snowstorm right after Easter in the mid-1970s. A one-hour commute from O’Hare to Yorkville took 8.5 hours. How much snow fell?
—John Dailey, Fort Smith, Ark.

Dear John,
The snowstorm occurred April 2-3, 1975, produced 9.8 inches of snow and ranks as one of the city’s heaviest late-season snows. The snow was heavier in the north and northwest suburbs, where totals exceeded one foot. After a night of rain and sleet, the precipitation changed to snow on April 2. With temperatures hovering near freezing and 30 mph-plus northeast winds piling the snow into huge drifts, the expressways were quickly clogged, forcing many motorists to abandon their cars. The storm shut down O’Hare, stranding thousands of travelers. At least eight people died of heart attacks brought on by shoveling the slushy snow.


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