Fifteen years ago today, the first blizzard of what was arguably the worst winter on record locally, struck the Red River Valley. The snow arrived during the early afternoon, which was a Saturday in 1996. The snow and wind forced Hector Airport to close quickly that afternoon and both I-29 and I-94 were both closed at 10 pm.
A total of five inches had accumulated by midnight, but it continued to snow the rest of the night and into the following morning. The wind gusted to over 40 mph at times during the event and did not settle down enough to reopen the main roads until late the following day. In total, 13.5 inches fell, not including 2 inches that fell the day before the storm, with drifts 3-4 feet high.
The winter of 1996-1997 brought a total of 8 blizzards to Fargo Moorhead, with other parts of the area recording as many as10 blizzards that winter.