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A look back at the historic Colorado blizzard of 1997

1997 Southern Colorado Blizzard Totals
Posted at 5:56 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 19:56:15-04

Almost 22 years ago to the date, the blizzard of 1997 took seven lives in Southern Colorado from October 24-25. It stranded thousands, and caused widespread power outages all across the state.

The storm trapped people for days, some in their cars, and brought everything to a halt all before Halloween and the start of winter.

The blizzard began on the evening of October 24th, and has been described by the National Weather Service as rare given the time of the year that it hit.

Most deaths from the storm occurred from carbon monoxide poisoning as hundreds of people waited helpless, stranded in their cars. Several reports of injuries were also noted due to heavy snow leading to collapsing roofs in the area.

Schools closed for most of the week as the digging out process seemed ongoing for days and days after the storm.

It's estimated that 20,000 cattle and calves were also victims of the storm, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Blizzard conditions continued for nearly 24 hours, not letting up until Saturday evening in Colorado Springs, and later than that for southeastern regions.

Snow piled up in feet across the Centennial State. Some areas in northern El Paso County reported more than 4 feet. Places like Black Forest and Monument saw nearly half of their seasonal totals during the storm. Colorado Springs and Woodland Park both picked up around 2 feet. It's a storm that still resonates with our viewers today.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo said in a post-storm report that snowfall depths were hard to measure accurately as strong wind gusts to 55 mph caused drifting as high as 10 to 15 feet, making travel nearly impossible for days.