ASK TOM WHY: Was the November 7, 1951 snowstorm one of the worst ever?

Dear Tom,

I was born Nov 7, 1951, and my parents always talked about it as being during one of the worst snowstorms ever. Was it really that bad?

— Sherri Michaels, Wilmington

 
Dear Sherri,

While it was nothing like the Big Snow of January 1967 or last year’s Groundhog Day blizzard, you were born during Chicago’s biggest early-season snowstorm on record.

The city was clobbered with 9.3 inches of heavy, wet snow from Nov. 6 to 7, 1951, which brought traffic to a halt as scores of stalled and abandoned cars clogged roads. In addition to the paralyzing snowfall, strong northeast winds generated high waves on Lake Michigan, which caused shoreline damage and flooded portions of the Outer Drive, closing it to traffic.

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