The Blizzard of ’49 remembered

By Ron Burtz

A steam locomotive makes its way through a virtual tunnel of snow in western South Dakota in the aftermath of the legendary Blizzard of 1949. Other photos from the period show trains completely covered by mountainous drifts. Huge rotary plows were utilized to open up clogged rail lines. This photo is one of many in a May 1949 Rapid City publication entitled “The Blizzard of '49” which includes numerous first-person accounts of the storm from people in affected area. [Submitted Photo/SOUTH DAKOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY]
This is the first in a five-part series on the Blizzard of 1949 and recollections and stories from the people who lived through it. If you’re tempted to think this winter’s cold and snow is the worst ever, think again. Seventy years ago today it was a whole lot worse in Custer and the frigid […]