Throwback Thursday: The Blizzard of ’84 Began 35 Years Ago Today
In late April 1984, one of the worst spring storms in Wyoming history dumped nearly three feet of snow on the Cowboy State. The snow began falling on April 25, 1984, and didn't let up for three days. Parts of the state also recorded hurricane-force gusts, creating 100-foot-long, 20-foot-tall snowdrifts.
“I suspect everybody will remember this day for many years to come,” Cambell County Superintendent of Schools Melvin Antrim told the Gillette News Record.
Roads across Wyoming were impassible for two days. 55 people were reported missing and hundreds of travelers were stranded. Thousands of local residents went without power. In place of snowplows, coal miners near Wright, Wyoming used earth-moving machinery to help clear the roads. By the time the storm subsided, two ranchers and over 200,000 cattle died.
Adding insult to injury, when the snow melted, it caused widespread flooding throughout the region.
“I felt like we were in Noah’s Ark in northeast Wyoming when we were surrounded by flooding,” Gillette radio announcer David King recalled.
Years later, the Blizzard of '84 ranks among the worst storms to ever hit Wyoming, along with the May Day Storm of 1844, the "Great Equalizer" of 1905, the Blizzard of 1955, and the "March Madness Storm" in 2003.