Chicago Blizzard Could Set New RecordFebruary 1, 2011 - 6:18 PM | by: Marla Cichowski
Chicago is no stranger to blistering snow and wind during the winter months, but this time is different. Over the next 24 hours, the ”Windy City” is bracing to get dumped on with up to two feet of snow. Some here are calling it “Snowmaggedon.” Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley referred to it as, “a storm of historic magnitude, the likes of which we have not seen in decades.”
According to the National Weather Service, the most snow Chicago has ever seen at one time was 44 years ago. On January 26, 1967 the city got pounded with 23 inches of snow over two days. The ten biggest snow storms on record range from 14 to 20 inches.
I spoke to a few people today who remember the blizzard of 1967 all too well. Bill Fisher, from Huntley, Illinois, was working at his office on Chicago’s north side. Fisher says a decision was made to close his office early, much like many offices did today. Fisher recalls his commute home that afternoon, “another worker and I helped everyone get their car going. We were the last ones to leave. My car was parked on a side street about a block away. I was driving a 1966 Mercury. Got in. Started the car, didn’t need a push; my co-worker jumped in. We never stopped. Drove all the way to DesPlaines train depot, dropped off my freind who lived in Crystal Lake. Drove home… and the shoveling began. Never even had a bit of trouble. The next day we took a sled and went to the Jewel (grocery) to get food. Put the purchases in a box and treked back home with sled in tow. Fond memories.”
Fisher’s son-in-law was a college student at the time at home in Chicago for semester break. Jim Cichowski says, ” I remember making some money shoveling snow. I remember people walking with their sleds to the Jewel for groceries. Very few cars moving. The store shelves were empty and all the milk was gone. Mom walked to work that morning, but my Dad was back home about 12:00, he never got to his job that day. I guess we just played in the snow and stayed home, watching TV and playing games.”
There is sure to be plenty of cabin fever setting in across Chicago homes tomorrow waiting out the “blizzard of the century”. Chicago Public Schools are cancelled tomorrow, for the first time since 1999. If this week’s storm shatters the record set back in 1967, Chicagoans will be talking and tweeting about this one for decades to come.