As North Dakota braces for a Winter Storm, blizzards in March are not new to the state, in fact, this month is when we annually receive the most snow. Bismarck averages 9.1 inches in March and if forecasters are right, we’ll get all of that, and possibly more in the next couple of days.
The worst snow event in North Dakota history occurred March 2nd, 3rd and 4th of 1966. During that epic blizzard, 20-30 inches of snow fell across the state. When combined with winds up to 70-miles-per-hour, gusting at time to 100-miles-per-hour, drifts were 30-40 feet high in some locations.
This iconic photograph was taken during that storm. It shows Department of Transportation employee, Bill Koch, standing next to the top of a set of power lines. Visibility in the open country and farm yards was reduced to zero for 11 straight hours during the storm. 74,500 head of cattle perished during the three day blizzard.