Today in History: The Blizzard of 1966 Begins

Blizzard of 1966

The Blizzard of 1966 paralyzed Syracuse and Central New York resulting from a primary storm centered east of Syracuse and followed by a lake-effect storm from Lake Ontario. 40-60 mph winds piled up the dense, heavy snow in huge drifts as tall as some two-story houses.

Snow began falling today in 1966 and fell almost continuously for the next 36 hours, ending on February 1st. In total, more than 42 inches fell on Syracuse. Several people died, the Thruway and almost all other roads were shut down for days, and power was cut off to many homes and buildings throughout the area. Some people managed to have some fun with the snow, using snow shoes, skis, and sleds to get around.

Johnathan Coyle of the Post Standard wrote an article in 2016 that talked about the effects of this storm including lost business (estimated at $5 million a day), area college students (about 300 of which helped dig out Syracuse University), radio personalities who lost their voices announcing area closing, and even 126 travelers who spent the night at the War Memorial.