Blizzard of 1949

Sunday morning, January 2, 1949, a strong wind was blowing in Kimball. In the afternoon it started to snow and by evening a full-fledged blizzard was in progress. Monday morning drifts blocked all the streets in the city. The snow and biting wind were so strong a person could hardly see his hand in front of his face. The temperature was dropping too and by afternoon it was down to five degrees below zero.

The Union Pacific streamliner had been stopped because another stopped train. On Tuesday morning the diesel units had lost their power and could no longer supply heat for the train. Few of the passengers had boots or heavy coats, so they had to be carried to the adjacent Wheat Growers Hotel.

At the hotel, people slept in shifts in the beds, chairs, lounged and on spare mattresses spread on the floor in the basement “dormitory.” The dining car crew from the streamliner helped prepare meals, working around the clock.

Source: Art Henrickson, “Kimball County, Nebraska 100 Year History Book” published by the Plains Genealogical Society of Kimball County in 1988.