Winter Blast from the Past

Photo provided by the Willard Library Digital Photo Collections

Bundled up in coats, gloves, and scarfs, Evansvillians across the city may be grumbling about the cold chill that’s settled in River City in the last few weeks. But with no winter weather advisories so far and even less considerable snowfall, this winter has been milder than most. And things could be a lot worse — more than 100 years ago, our ancestors were in the worst snowstorm in Evansville history.

Lasting from December 1917 to January 1918, snowfall in Southern Indiana hit record highs. Spurred on by freezing temperatures, 41 inches of snow fell in January alone. The Ohio River froze over, streets closed, and Evansville slowly began to resemble an icy ghost town.

In this photo from Willard Library, a group of unnamed residents can be seen standing against snowbanks that rise far above their heads on the 200 block of Main Street. These piles of solid frozen snow were created after residents made attempts to shovel streets and sidewalks.

While Evansville may be cold and dreary for a few more months, we’ll take the nippy weather of winter over a historic blizzard any day.

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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