Arizona February 17, 2017
A Massive Blizzard Blanketed Arizona In Snow In 2010 And It Will Never Be Forgotten
Snow in Arizona can seem to be a bit of an anomaly. For visitors and many residents living away from the mountains and northern region, it’s an unexpected sight.
But a blizzard? That’s not exactly something we expect here in the Southwest but it does happen on occasion. The largest known blizzard took place in 1967, where eight days of almost non-stop snow where some areas saw 8-feet or more. We wrote about that one back in December (you can read more
about it here) but the another massive snowstorm happened just a few years ago and still left many rural residents stranded for days.
In late January, a huge winter storm began blowing through Arizona.
Rain, high winds, and flooding were reported in the southern half of the state while the northern half saw heavy snow slam through.
When the storm ended several days later, Flagstaff received about 55 inches of snow during that storm while the nearby Snowbowl received about 6 feet!
For comparison, Flagstaff averages 7 to 9 feet of snow each winter. This was definitely more than expected!
Plenty of other areas saw large amounts of snow, including Mount Graham and the Mogollon Rim.
This photo shows the resulting snow piling into the Mogollon Rim Visitor Center!
Flood warnings and massive amounts of snow fell throughout the state and a state of emergency was declared almost immediately.
This photo, taken on January 21, the same day as the emergency was declared, shows Buffalo Park in Flagstaff coated in snow. If you look closely, you can see the fence hiding underneath all that snow.
But it was the rural areas that were hit the hardest, with snow ranging between one and eight feet in depth!
With so many residents living in remote areas along dirt roads or mountainous areas, many were left stranded in their homes and having to dig their way out.
Places like this became impassable in the days (and for some, weeks) following the storm.
Could you imagine having to travel from here to town to restock on supplies? Just imagine all that snow, ice, and, worse, sticky mud.
For those with livestock, it proved a rough time to keep them warm.
The National Guard delivered goods via helicopter in the initial days after the blizzard. Community groups also rallied together to help collect and deliver donations.
Relief items included water, food, firewood, and hay for livestock.
Items were dropped off via helicopter, an event that reminded many residents of the 1967 blizzard where supplies were also delivered the same way.
That was pretty wild, huh? If you were living or visiting the area in 2010, what was your experience like?
Curious about other events that have happened in Arizona history? Check out our article,
The 5 Most Horrifying Disasters That Ever Happened In Arizona, for a few examples.