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Iowa History Daily: October 31 - Halloween Blizzard of 1991

Iowa History Daily: On October 31, 1991, The Halloween Blizzard thwarted trick-or-treating plans for many throughout Iowa and the upper-Midwest. Although many still braved the conditions with winter coats obscuring costumes, the storm cut electricity throughout the state creating a truly scary situation.

By mid-morning on Halloween, snow, sleet, and freezing rain blanketed southeast Minnesota and most of eastern Iowa. While October turned to November, the mixture continued to come down well into the afternoon of the following day, many areas in Iowa saw up to two inches of ice accumulate on top of eight to 15 inches of snow.

Ghoulish winds of 30 to 40 mph downed trees and utility poles to cut power throughout the state, darkening an estimated 80,000 homes in Iowa. The downed lines left many Iowans without power for over a week, while also closing several highways by creating obstructions.

The storm’s damage to utilities alone totaled over $63 million, and the governor of Iowa declared a state of emergency in 52 of the state’s 99 counties because of the storm’s severity. Across Iowa, 30 locations broke daily snowfall records with Sioux City topping the daily total at 9”. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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