Tuesday, March 4, 2008


March 4, 1966 - "Snowstorm of the century in Winnipeg. 35Cm's snow fell and winds reached 120 km/h. The city was paralyzed for 2 days." This is a quote from; http://www.dandantheweatherman.com/cantriv.html#mar That was 13 inches of snow and 75mph winds!

The local radio and TV stations were constantly giving updates and allowing people to call in live on air and let family/friends know where they were and that they were safe. People and communities pulled together to take care of each other and especially those that were stranded.

A year or so ago, I was waiting at a bus stop during a snowfall and the elderly gentleman (whom I frequently cross paths with while grocery shopping) who was with me started telling me about being stranded at the downtown Eaton's store during that blizzard. Most of the employees and a number of customers stayed there for two days. They pretty much had the run of the store but no one took advantage of the situation. They played cards, board games, read, watched TV or listened to the radio. Eaton's was a large department store which sold everything from appliances, furniture, linens, clothing to food. There were also a couple of restaurants within the store. So I guess if you had to be stranded away from home that was a pretty good place to be!

I wasn't very old when that storm hit, but I remember it well. We were storm stayed on the farm for days! It was several days before the school buses started running and I can vividly recall the bus going by plowed banks that were as high as the bus in places. It was awesome and a bit terrifying at the same time to see that much snow!

My dad had to use the front end loader on the tractor to clean out the lane. He piled a HUGE bank up along side the barn, then he and my brother made a toboggan run from near the roof down to the nearby creek. There was even a bit of an angled curve and bank about halfway down so that you could slide even further along the creek bed if you had a good run! They even built snow steps so it would be easier getting back up to the top. Over the next several weekends our place was pretty popular among friends, neighbours and family, as everybody wanted to try the newest run. People brought coffee, hot chocolate, baking and lots of other goodies to keep all warm and happy while we enjoyed the snow.

Manitoba winters are long and Winnipeg has had the nickname of "Winterpeg" for as long as I can remember! It's almost like a badge of honour to survive the winters here! There is a possibility of snow today but no blizzard in the forecast! Even if there were, we are a tough bunch.


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