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Iowa History Daily: November 27 - Thanksgiving Blizzard of

Iowa History Daily: On November 27, 1983, back-to-back icy blizzards wrapped up after wreaking havoc on Thanksgiving travel plans for Iowans across the state. The Thanksgiving Blizzard of 1983 claimed at least three lives while leaving thousands without power in the western part of the state.

Leading up to the busy holiday travel weekend, an initial snow and ice storm moved across Iowa. One woman died on Highway 20 in Woodbury County when icy conditions led her car to slide off the road. In Greene County, near Carroll, two more people died in a head-on collision due to icy roads. A large band of snow dropped 3-6" from Clarinda to Mason City, covering the ice and causing dozens of accidents. Hundreds of travelers found themselves stranded for hours.

A major second-wave awaited holiday travelers in western Iowa. Starting with a steady freezing rain over parts of Nebraska and western Iowa, before heavy snow started to fall. In Sioux City, the epicenter of storm impact, over a foot of snow combined with 50 mph winds to bring the city to a standstill and I-29 closed.

While wet, heavy snow weighed down the western half of the state a major powerline broke near Glenwood leaving over 2,000 customers without power in Mills County. A huge storm leaving a wide path, at least 1-2" of snow fell from Denver to Duluth, stranding thousands of travelers in airports and along highways. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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