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Blizzard of ’82

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1min 00sec
(Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/X-29021)
Two people ski down a Denver, Colorado street in the snowstorm of 1982.
Colorado Postcard Blizzard of ’82

December 24th, 1982: a blizzard wallops the Front Range, a winter storm with an unusually powerful punch. It brings a holiday to a standstill, and it changes an election. Snowdrifts 4 to 10 feet high paralyzed Denver that "Nightmare before Christmas." Shops across the metro area went bust. Denver’s airport shut down, stranding thousands for 36 hours. And snowplows barely helped.

With the city frozen in place, Mayor Bill McNichols made garbage trucks crisscross town and pound things into more manageable shape. But that just created more chaos, leaving Denver roadways riddled with icy ruts for weeks. Voters didn’t forget. Neither did the weather, as later that spring another snowstorm blanketed the city on election day in May, ushering out the only mayor Denver had known for fourteen years.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.