31 years ago an ice storm attacked Minnesota with a vengeance. Below you'll find the memories of those who lived thru it. 

For many of us old enough to have experienced it 30 years ago, our memories of the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 remain uncommonly vivid.

There are probably a lot of children in Minnesota that roll their eyes when the grownups start talking about that one ice storm back in '91. Just like we rolled our eyes when our parents or grandparents said, "I remember back in '45 when that oak tree blew away in a twister..."

The Halloween Ice Storm of 1991 Was Vicious

Hope Doherty
Hope Doherty

You can scroll for the stories, they're awesome, but if you don't know about this Halloween storm of 1991, Andy Brownell, from KROC News, wrote the news side of the story...

For many of us old enough to have experienced it 30 years ago, our memories of the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 remain uncommonly vivid.

By the afternoon of November 1st, the temperature had begun to plunge, shifting the rain to ice and later snow. The air pressure at the center of the storm was so low that meteorologists described it as a "land hurricane,” producing winds that snapped countless ice-coated power lines and power poles.

The National Weather Service reported 2 to 3 inches of ice accumulated in parts of southeastern Minnesota. While that kept the snowfall totals lower when compared to other parts of the state, the thick ice resulted in life-threatening conditions for tens of thousands of people who left without power and heat as the departing storm pulled unseasonably cold air into the region. Read More: 30 Years Later - Memories of Minnesota's Halloween Blizzard Vivid

SE Minnesotans Tell Their Personal Stories from the Halloween Ice Storm of '91

October 31, 2021 marks 30 years since one of the winter storms Minnesota will never forget. It came so early, it surprised so many of us, and honestly, the hard times that came from it are good memories. For most of us, anyway. And most of the people here sharing their lives with us.

Scroll slowly and enjoy the stories (and photos when possible) never before shared with the media.
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Wacky NIght Guy DJ Remember Ice and Snow Storm

Rabe Way Back
Rabe Way Back

That's me back in the early '90s, holding Bradley Popelka like a trophy I just won at Rochester's Plummer House. Maybe not exactly 1991, but you can see I'm completely serious. Well, October 31st arrived, and I had to go from goofball to serious fast. As Andy talks about in the video below, KROC AM and KROC FM were two of the few radio stations broadcasting as the storm hit, and after.

white and orange cell tower with sky and clouds background
Vi Gregnol

People are hungry for information about plows, power, food, roads, and where to go if you're freezing and just can't take it anymore...all of that was on us, TV stations, and newspapers. And of the media in town, we were the ones that could relay info immediately. No apps, no websites, no cell phones to call and see why your loved one still...isn't...home.

I can't even tell you how many times I answered the phone to tell the person if there was or wasn't school the next day. And because so many local radio stations were down, they were calling us. I promise I didn't swear at any kids. But I may have been tempted.

Hope Doherty
Hope Doherty

Everyone At KROC AM - KROC FM Was Knee Deep In Keeping Everyone Informed

Every other DJ was dealing with the same thing. Randy Dean in the morning, Brent Ackerman in the mid-day, Bill Davis in the afternoon, and Paul O on overnights. It was a wildly hectic and exciting time if that makes sense. And Kim David and Andy Brownell in the newsroom were swamped with all of that PlUS writing news stories about it.

If you read the stories above, you know that something a LOT of us felt was a sense of community. In smaller towns especially. It's good to know each other and to help each other, and maybe that's why we talk so much about the Halloween Storm of '91...it might be the last time some of us remember that big a challenge where we didn't have anything else to do but wait and see.

Here's What Andy Remembers About the Storm

Just Thinking About The Ice Storm of '91 Is Making Me Cold

Where can I get some soup?

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As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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