Remembering the 1949 Blizzard

By: Marissa Cleaver
By: Marissa Cleaver

From January second to the fifth in 1949 several feet of snow blanketed Nebraska. Winds were in excess of 50 miles per hour producing snow drifts more than 20 feet deep.

Byron Sadle was a cattle rancher in Paxton, NE when the blizzard hit. He says he couldn’t see his barn or his cattle for days.

“The snow drift in front of that barn was so high you could walk out of that drift into the hay loft,” said Sadle.

Alice Manifold said her three block walk to work in Ainsworth was treacherous.

“When they did get the snow cleared (the) drifts were way up high with just a place to walk in between. And you walk around with your head down and pretty soon you run in to somebody else with their head down,” said Manifold.

People in rural Nebraska had to have supplies dropped to them from airplanes.

The blizzard was a deadly one resulting in 39 deaths in Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.


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