2019 JAN FEB DOWN COUNTRY ROADS MAGAZINE DCR Jan.Feb.2019 web - Page 24

Rural residents became volunteer storm correspondents for editors from big city newspapers like the Omaha World Herald where this story was published. Papers made far-ranging long-distance calls to gather information from those who were enduring the series of blizzards. [Clipping­courtesy­of­Connie­Thornton,­Rapid­City] R emembering T he blizzard of ’49 J On Sunday, New Year’s Day 1949, a light jacket would have kept you comfortable in Deadwood. Thermometers peaked at 50 degrees. By David Super 24 DOWN COUNTRY ROADS anuary­2,­Mother­Nature­poured­a­much­different­weather­mixture­over­the­High Plains­that­began­with­four­days­of­punishing­wind,­snow­and­cold.­Seventy­years later,­old-timers­still­remember­the­Blizzard­of­’49.­The­hard­winter­of­1996-97,­the Atlas­storm­of­2013­and­other­meteorological­events­have­earned­their­place­in­his- tory,­but­’49­remains­apart­from­the­others.­In­a­series­of­storms­that­didn’t­let­up­until late­February,­at­least­40­people­in­South­Dakota,­Wyoming,­Nebraska­and­Colorado lost­their­lives­in­weather-related­events.­Livestock­and­wildlife­suffered.­Road­and­rail­traffic ground­to­a­halt.­Daily­life­did­not­return­to­normal­until­the­spring­thaw.