16 Hours Of White

It was 30 years ago today that area residents woke up to the aftermath of one of the worst blizzards in modern history.  February 4, 1984 started off mild and sunny.  Although there was a Traveler’s Advisory issued for an expected drastic change in the weather later that day.  It was a Saturday, meaning many people were traveling to and from Fargo and other communities to do some shopping.

That afternoon about one inch fell over a slightly crusted 12 inches of snow as the previous days had been around freezing.  But suddenly the wind picked up and a wall of white enveloped Fargo Moorhead with the wind gusting around 70 mph.  That strong wind quickly scoured the thin crust on the snow cover making for 16 hours of severe blowing snow.  With near zero visibility and travelers quickly trying to get home, many ended up stranded and spent the night trapped in their vehicle.

Tragically, four people died of carbon monoxide poisoning on 19th Avenue North during the night with 18 other deaths reported in North Dakota and Minnesota.