Looking back: The Blizzard of 1986

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Thirty years ago today, Winnipeggers were digging out after the worst blizzard in 20 years nearly paralyzed the city for 36 hours.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 07/11/2016 (2160 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Thirty years ago today, Winnipeggers were digging out after the worst blizzard in 20 years nearly paralyzed the city for 36 hours.

More than 30 centimetres of snow fell on Winnipeg between Friday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 9, 1986.

Knee-high snow drifts covered the grass visible just a day earlier, while winds gusting to 90 kilometres per hour covered stalled vehicles and plugged roadways, forcing most people indoors.

GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg blizzard - November 8, 1986

Transit and taxi services were halted until snowplows could clear the roads, and most stores, theatres and restaurants were closed. Some 200 people were stranded at the airport, which closed early Saturday morning. Mayor Bill Norrie authorized the use of snowmobiles on city streets, subject to police approval, to get snowbound emergency professionals such as doctors, nurses, firefighters and police officers to their jobs.

The storm was the worst to hit southern Manitoba since March 1966, when more than 35 cm of snow fell with a 24-hour period.

GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Snowmobiles on Portage Avenue and Carlton Street on Nov. 8, 1986.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Motorists push a stranded car near Portage Avenue and Carlton Street.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS It seems those snowshoes might be handier on the feet!
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Digging out.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winds gusted up to 90 kilometres per hour during the storm.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS An efficient way to get around post-storm.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS The mayor specifically authorized the use of snowmobiles on city streets, mainly to ferry snowbound emergency personnel to their jobs.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Plowing was actually halted overnight at one point while the storm raged, as city officials felt their work would be pointless.
GERRY CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg blizzard: November 8, 1986
History

Updated on Monday, November 7, 2016 3:23 PM CST: Corrects typo in headline.

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