Northern California February 02, 2019
67 Years Ago, Northern California Was Hit With The Worst Blizzard In History
Snowy winters are commonplace in many regions of Northern California, especially throughout the Sierras. However, there was one winter that many longtime residents consider the worst in our state’s recent history. It was 67 years ago but this particular winter brought the worst blizzard we had ever seen, and it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. In fact, the blizzard made headlines all over the state when it trapped a passenger train in the mountains for days on end. All turned out fine, but it was an intense storm that many Northern Californians still recall vividly.
Northern California has seens its fair share of winter storms, but many residents agree that the Blizzard of 1952 is one of the most memorable.
The winter of 1952 seemed to take everybody by surprise and it's easy to see why. This blizzard was no joke. In a storm that lasted from January 10 to January 17, Donner Summit recorded a whopping 154 inches of snow.
Additionally, 80 mph winds blew snowdrifts up to 40-feet deep. Both homes and cars were completely buried, and entire towns seemed to shut completely down. Many residents recall using their second-floor windows as entrances to their homes.
However, the blizzard is especially infamous for stalling a 15-car luxury streamliner called "City of San Francisco" near Yuba Pass. The train—bound for Oakland—plowed right into an 18-foot snow slide and came to a complete halt. Over 200 people were trapped inside the train while they waited for help to arrive.
A myriad of rescuers including nurses, soldiers, doctors, and even the Coast Guard set off to rescue the stranded train. It would take rescuers three entire days to reach the train. Miraculously, all 226 passengers and crew survived the multi-day ordeal.
The relief party then set to work to uncover the train and set it free from the snow. It took workers two more days to shovel out the snow and get the train moving once again.
This phenomenal event made headlines not just all over California, but all over the
country. Although this was certainly a nail-biting event in Northern California history, it at least concluded with a happy ending.
For an even closer look at this epic blizzard, check out the newsreel footage of the event below.
Were you around when this awful blizzard showed itself? It’s no wonder this was considered the worst blizzard in Northern California’s history! Those photos are nuts. However, winter is still a very treasured season in our state. Just check out these
7 Awesome Places In Northern California You Must Visit This Winter to see why!