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Iowa History Daily: March 18 - Great Blizzard of 1923

Iowa History Daily: On March 18, 1923, one of the snowiest weeks in Iowa’s history ended. With up to 30 inches reported at locations in the state, the storm took the lives of six Midwesterners while slowly dropping enormous amounts of snow throughout the region.

The storm rolled in with 40 mph winds and snow fell fast and heavy. The storm stopped the mail for several days in parts of the state, and Des Moines dispatched an additional 200 personnel to try to keep up with the rapidly accumulating snow. 

Agriculture specifically suffered in the storm, with an estimated one million young lambs and pigs lost on farms throughout the state. Although the wheat crop rode out the storm under a layer of snow from the previous week, shortages of coal and food dramatically impacted Iowans. In Marshalltown, a snow plow working to clear the North Western Railroad hopped off the tracks, injuring five.     

Although the sun finally shined the following day as people across Iowa dug out, temperatures hit the lowest of the winter at 10.2 degrees below zero. Although the storm stood as one of the worst in the state’s history, Iowans looked forward to rapidly rising temperatures taking the state toward spring. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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