The Blizzard of 1973

Almost 50 years ago Des Moines and Iowa were digging out of a massive snowstorm, remembered by many locals as the “Blizzard of ’73.” The snow started on Monday, April 9, and buried Des Moines in 12 inches of snow. Drifts of 15 feet were common across the metro area. Dubuque had a 19.2-inch snowfall. Streets in Des Moines and state highways were littered with hundreds of stranded cars,  there were several power outages in the area and, unfortunately, at least seven people died of heart attacks in Polk County.  In Indianola, babies were born in doctors’ offices because the roads to the hospitals were impassable. Schools, businesses, and even the Legislature were closed for at least a couple of days. A picture in the Des Moines Tribune that Monday showed golfers in short sleeves enjoying the 70-degree weather at Waveland on the previous Friday. The high on Monday, April 9, 1973? Twenty-nine degrees.