What blizzard am I talking about?

January 29, 2015

nyc blizzardYou think Juno was a blizzard?

1950 blizzardThis was a blizzard!

That is a Pershing tank helping to move a bus through the snow following the Thanksgiving Blizzard, or the Great Appalachian storm, of 1950.  I do not remember the storm, but this is the one my parents always talked about.

From the Lakewood [Ohio] Sun Post:

Hundreds of motorists abandoned stalled autos. Stuck streetcars were strung along main arteries for miles. Bus routes were littered with coaches blocked by enormous drifts. Most plants closed, and some employees who did manage to report in were marooned on their jobs. Trucks laden with food couldn’t deliver. Babies were without milk, and groceries able to open were rationing it as well as bread.

More here.

1950 1

1950 2

From the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:

The 5-day 1950 Thanksgiving blizzard began when an arctic air mass lowered temperatures to 7 degrees. The next day, 24 Nov., low pressure from Virginia moved into Ohio, causing a blizzard with high winds and heavy snow which closed the airport. Mayor Thomas Burke called for the National Guard and mobilized snow removal equipment to clear the 22.1″ of snow brought by the storm; however, snow drifts and over 10,000 abandoned cars blocked the effort. Burke declared a state of emergency, banned unnecessary travel, and later asked downtown businesses to stagger hours to reduce transit burdens. Nonessential cars were banned downtown. The storm weakened on Monday, but most area schools closed. The storm ended, and all guardsmen were dismissed by Wednesday, but Cleveland schools remained closed all week to keep children off transit lines. The auto ban lasted until the last CTS line reopened on Saturday; while parking problems remained, police no longer monitored traffic. Normal conditions returned as the temperature hit 53 degrees. The storm had paralyzed the area for a week and cost over $1 million and 23 lives.


“Great Appalachian Storm 1950-11-26 weather map” by NOAA Central Library, Silver Spring, Maryland – NOAA Central Library Data Imaging Project. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Superllatives keeps CNN on the air! Thanks for the memeory! I kan’t spell 2day

    • Don’t you just love the news – who needs coffee?

  2. I’ll have to ask my mom if she remembers that storm. She grew up in Akron. My Grandpa worked at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co for 41 years.

    • I am sure Akron took a hit, too!

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