St. Patrick's Day Blizzard, 50 years ago

St. Patrick’s Day blizzard recalled

A blinding blizzard struck this area at about 2 a.m. Monday, March 1, 1965, and continued for about 48 hours. It dropped 12 inches of snow on the Springfield community that day, and topped that with six inches on Tuesday, March 2, according to a story in the Springfield Advance-Press Thursday, March 4, 1965. That storm  brought activities to a standstill. Businesses were closed, there was no mail service for two days, local schools were closed for three days.

Then two weeks later, a snowstorm that started the night of March 16 developed into a full-scale blizzard the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. The snow continued to fall Tuesday and Wednesday, and quit falling early Thursday, but winds which local official U.S. Weather Observer R.A. Feser said attained velocities as high as 60 miles an hour continued piling up drifts long after dark on Thursday, March 19.

Record breaking low temperatures for that time of year followed closely on the heels of the blizzard and plummeted to -10 on Sunday, March 22, and followed with subzero temperatures for several days, according to stories in the Advance-Press on Thursday, March 25, 1965.

Many farm homes in the community were isolated from the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day until Saturday, March 21.

Police were busy handling emergency runs and accidents during the blizzard.

Longtime residents of the area said the St. Patrick’s Day blizzard was the worst they could remember.

The cold weather was considered good. It prevented the mountains of snow from melting quickly and lessened the danger of flooding. (All totaled, Springfield received 38 inches of snow in March 1965.)  

See this week's Advance-Press for the complete story.

Springfield Advance-Press

13 S. Marshall Avenue PO Box 78 Springfield, MN 56087