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Thanksgiving Storm of 1956

Storm Paralyzes the City of Erie
A freak storm which included lightning, thunder and winds up to 45 miles an hour buried Erie under a two-foot snowfall on Thanksgiving day of November 22, 1956. The community of 130,000 on the shore of Lake Erie was virtually isolated. Traffic was paralyzed. All public transportation was stopped. Practically all industries closed as workers couldn't get to their jobs. Main traffic arteries, including Routes 5 and 20; the Buffalo-to-Cleveland routes, were plugged tight.

The heavy snowfall, which began on Thanksgiving Day, stopped about 4:00 a.m. the following day, except for scattered flurries. The Weather Bureau reported that the measured snowfall in midtown Erie was 24 inches, accumulated from 3:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day to 4:00 a.m. the following day.

At Erie Airport, where all flights were canceled, the fall was estimated at 33 inches. Amazed residents watched lightening bolts flash across the sky, accompanied by loud claps of thunder, as the …

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