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Daryl Ritchison, Published March 10 2013

Weather Talk: Week marks anniversary of two deadly blizzards

This week marks the anniversary of two powerful blizzards that struck this area.

The first was a storm that occurred on March 15, 1941. A powerful Alberta Clipper turned a fairly nice Saturday, into a deadly Saturday night. A light south wind quickly changed to the north and gusted as high as 85 mph. Travelers were caught completely unaware of the sudden change in the weather and more than 150 died, including 71 in the Red River Valley, mainly of exposure seeking shelter away from their vehicles.

The other blizzard also struck on March 15, back in 1920. This blizzard is sometimes called the “Hazel Miner Blizzard” in reference to a North Dakota teenager who sacrificed herself to save her younger brother and sister. The three got lost in the blizzard heading home from school, got stuck and the 15 year old Hazel Miner eventually spent the night lying on top of her siblings to keep them warm. Sadly, she passed away during the night, but her siblings survived. A memorial to her still stands in her honor at the courthouse in Center, N.D.

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