Over 50 years ago, Illinois experienced the worst blizzard in recorded history.

The Chicago blizzard of 1967 was one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the state of Illinois. Twenty-three inches of snow fell in one day, stranding cars and buses, stranding residents, and effectively shutting down an entire city — for days. Illinois has had Polar Vortexes and plenty of snow, but it has never been anything like what happened 50 years ago. Long-term residents still talk about the 1967 Illinois blizzard. Continue reading to find out what happened.

The 1967 blizzard remains the largest snowfall to ever hit northeast Illinois.

A Category 5 (extreme) blizzard deposited nearly two feet of snow on the day and night of January 26, 1967, into the following morning, effectively “whiting out” the entire Chicagoland area.

Those who were already at work or school were caught completely off guard, as no one anticipated the storm’s magnitude.

The snow started falling at 5 a.m. on Thursday and continued until after 10 a.m. the next morning.

There was already eight inches of snow on the ground by noon.

Many people were unable to return home and were forced to stay in hotels. Emergency vehicles had to be replaced by helicopters, and looting was rampant in some areas of the city.

When the dust settled, 60 people had died and an estimated $150 million in business losses had occurred.

The Chicago blizzard of 1967 is thought to have caused the most damage since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

At their worst, most winters in the city and in Illinois look like this.

Even today, people recall the year when 23 inches of snow fell in one day.

What do you recall about the Chicago blizzard of 1967? Do you know anyone in Illinois who remembers this historic event? (Looking at you, Grandpa Joe and Aunt Mille!) Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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