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On the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 1950, it started snowing all across Lawrence County – and it did so for the next thirty hours! By Saturday morning thirty-three inches of snow had fallen in New Castle and high winds resulted in blizzard like conditions. The storm, known as the Great Appalachian Storm of 1950, brought endless snow and hurricane force winds and came without warning. It affected twenty-two states, killed over 250 people (23 in Pennsylvania), and caused $66.7 million in damage. Downtown New Castle (shown above) was shutdown to traffic for over five days and hotels and other places of refuge quickly filled up during the emergency. (1950) Full Size
Ellwood City (shown above) was fortunate as civic leader R. J. “Denny” Schill was able to use his clout and secure some heavy equipment, then parked in Koppel, that was being used to extend the PA Turnpike. Ellwood City also recorded thirty-three inches of snowfall and came to a virtual standstill. With so many roads blocked Ellwood City and other locations in Lawrence County were extremely lucky no fires took place in the week after Thanksgiving. It was well over a week before most city roads were cleared, but many rural areas were blocked in for some time. (1950) Full Size
Work crews clear snow from Mercer Street in downtown New Castle. (1950) Full Size
A typical driveway in New Castle following the big storm of late November 1950. (1950) Full Size
A snowed in work truck of the Kleen Rite Dry Cleaners, located at #425 East Long Avenue. (1950) Full Size