20 Years Ago Today: The Halloween Blizzard of 1991
Last week, Jim Maurice and I wrote up a couple of stories about that storm and we asked for your comments. Here are some funny memories and harrowing stories as we remember The Halloween Blizzard of 1991.
I was too old to Trick or Treat that year, so I volunteered to answer the door and hand out candy. Turns out, it was the easiest job I ever volunteered for. I think we had maybe five kids that night when on an average Halloween it was closer to 30 or 40, so while I waited for the doorbell to ring, I just ate the candy we were supposed to be handing out. Mom wasn’t too happy I ate it all, but she was also glad there weren’t mass quantities of sweets left over. I remember the next day school was canceled and I had to help my dad clean up snow. When we were finished I went back inside to warm up and watch the neighbors dig out. I don’t recall how long it took to get the cars unearthed, but I do remember that about two or three weeks later, we had quite a warm up and most of the snow disappeared. ~Jen
I was a Brown Institute student snowed in at 38th and Cedar Ave. Walked to a friend’s house, dug out his roommate’s 4×4 and drove down a barren Lake Street while listening to the list of closings. A rare snow day for U of M translated into a snow day for us as well. Went to a skeleton-staffed Target to get sleds, took them to a nearby park. We sunk into the snow instead of a successful run down the hill, so we opted to go back inside and create the mother of all sub sandwiches while we waited for the rest of the city to re-emerge from 26 inches of snow. ~Brian W.
We were living in Duluth!! Sooo much snow there—[My daughter] Ashley had just turned 1 and we tried to let her play in the snow but it was over her head!! Cars were buried for three days! ~Cheryl C.
Two feet of snow in Sioux City, Iowa from the same storm system. Trick or treating was cancelled. It was to be my one and a half year old daughter’s first real Halloween. She had just learned to say “candy bars.” Trick or treating was rescheduled for the following Saturday. Twenty below windchill. Four kids came by. We were stuck in the house, but had plenty of “candy BAAARS.” ~Glen L.
I was out trick or treating with some guys in our grade, and we were over by a school in a side parking lot, and no lies, I got stuck IN one of the snow banks up to my hips, and I rocked back and forth and still was stuck. It was hilarious. Good times. ~Monda G.
I had just had my first house built in Elk River. So very excited to move in. My two boys and our very first home. Just as we got the last of everything in, the snow started and never ended. My boys went out trick or treating, convinced me they were old enough and got lost on the next street over. That was a scary hour of wondering where they were. Best thing about it I was snowed in and couldn’t go to work so I unpacked and got my new home all put together ~Vicky W.
It was when my sister and I moved here [from Puerto Rico], we had never seen snow before. At first we were like yay snow!!! After a few days we asked our parents, “does it ever stop!!!”. ~Lymarie J.
Cutting old ladies lawns on the East side of St. Paul. The next morning, we dug out, and drove to my work place [which was] a fire station in St. Paul. 22 runs in 24 hours. Mostly medicals. Then off to another station to pay back a day I owed. 13 or 14 more runs in another 24 hours. The lawn cleanup had to wait till late the following spring….LOL ~Grant F.
The Halloween blizzard of ’91 happened when I was in my Trick or Treating prime. First grade, cute as a button, ready to tear up the town getting as much candy as I could. If my memory from 20 years ago is correct, I think I was going as a princess (I only remember that because I was a princess EVERY year!) That year’s costume had to be drastically altered to fit the snow pants and winter jacket underneath! Snow boots so did not match my princess dress, but I had to make do with the rude interruption of Mother Nature. My mom had a routine of hitting the grandparents and friends homes before driving around town. That had to be cancelled. My huge pillow case wasn’t going to get very full. My poor little eyes swelled up with tears as I was only able to Trick or Treat around the apartment complex. But in the end, what’s a Minnesota memory without a blizzard changing your plans. ~Heather S.
I was working in Crystal and drove home in it. I left Crystal about 7pm. Normally we were open until 9 (Mall Hours), but as the day drew on, I knew we were in for a massive amount of snow and I saw other mall merchants locking up far earlier. I got onto 94 and immediately knew this was no ordinary storm. Cars were in the ditch, sliding all over in front of me, bumper to bumper and moving at the breakneck speed of 20 mph. I thought it would lighten up as I headed towards Rogers, but it just got worse. The snow was pounding even more, the wind whipping my car and I observed several cars in front of me sliding out into the ditch. I contemplated taking 101 to 10, but I thought it has to get better. It has to let up soon… I stopped counting cars [in the ditch] at 20. I had passed the Rogers exit. The traffic became slightly less as I neared St. Michael/Albertville- but the depth of the snow and the wind made it impossible to go any faster than 30mph- and I was passing people. Of course this is before widespread mobile phones- so my wife had no idea where I was- and I had no idea how bad it was when I embarked from Crystal, so I didn’t think to call her before I left. As I approached the Clearwater exit, where I normally got off and took County Road 8 home, I decided to brave the additional 15 miles to the St. Augusta exit. I got off and pretty much drove sideways all the way home on Clearwater Road and the rest of the streets (I lived out by the prison at the time). It was 2nd scariest drive of my life. I finally arrived home near 11pm. ~Peter K.
My daughter and I went trick or treating with the neighbor girl and her mom and we were the only ones out! The kids had so much candy in their bags that they literally dragged the bag across the top of the snow. We laughed because we were the only fools out in the snow and I remember it wasn’t freezing but snowing like all get out! The kids really got a lot of candy that year! LOL ~Trish
I was living up north by Walker. We were one of the crazies out in the snow trick or treating with the other neighborhood kids. We could only do so much knocking on houses in town but it was fun trying to figure out who was wearing what for their costumes under the winter jackets and snow boots…lol. I do remember that we came back with a ton of candy and had to make sure that we shared it with the parents. ~Cyndy T.
I’ll always remember that year. My third daughter was just one and a half months old at the time. I had 3 and 5 year old daughters, so I knew I had to celebrate as they were all geared up for trick or treating. Bundled up the baby and girls and set out. We lived on the outskirts of town and managed to make it to the mother-in-laws house, but that was our only stop. Had to shovel just to do that! ~Connie
Want to chime in with your story? Post below! We’d love to know what you were up to 20 years ago.