The Halloween Blizzard of 1991 hit the Sioux Empire with over 15 inches of snow and several days of cold. It was part of a huge weather system that also inspired the George Clooney movie The Perfect Storm.

The storm started with snow. Lots of snow. Then sixty-mile-an-hour winds showed up for the All Hallows Eve parties. Sioux Falls ended up with drifts measured in feet.

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The Halloween Blizzard of 1991

Minnesota and Iowa took the majority of the ice with this system while Sioux Falls and most of South Dakota got the snow. Overall, according to Wikipedia, between the blizzard and the ice storm, 22 people were killed and over 100 were injured.

The snow was followed by days of bitter South Dakota cold. So, not only did we miss out on lots of candy that year, we got to huddle inside while our Terminator 2 costume went to waste.

Some interesting facts about the Halloween Blizzard of '91:

  • Kids in Bismarck, North Dakota had to trick-or-treat in -10 degree weather
  • Over 100,000 people were without power across the Midwest
  • Both I-90 and I-29 were closed
  • Most of Iowa's crops were destroyed
  • The storm hit on a Thursday and schools were still closed the following Monday.
  • The storm caused over $63 million in damages

In 2012, Meteorologist Shawn Cable from KSFY-TV did this great recap of the storm. Complete with some awesome video of Sioux Falls in 1991.

The storm was part of a bigger system that dumped snow all over the Upper Midwest. Duluth, Minnesota ended up with over 35 inches of snow!

In fact, this storm was set up, in part, by the weather patterns that caused the "Perfect Storm" that struck the East Coast of the United States, and was famously depicted in Sebastian Junger's book. Moreover, the "Perfect Storm" was beginning to wind down in the Northeast on Halloween, around the same time that Minnesota was starting to see heavy snow creeping in. To have two exceptional storms impacting the continental United States at the same time is quite rare. -NWS Duluth


10 Very Naughty Halloween Costumes

Gallery Credit: Danny V

LOOK: How Halloween has changed in the past 100 years

Stacker compiled a list of ways that Halloween has changed over the last 100 years, from how we celebrate it on the day to the costumes we wear trick-or-treating. We’ve included events, inventions, and trends that changed the ways that Halloween was celebrated over time. Many of these traditions were phased out over time. But just like fake blood in a carpet, every bit of Halloween’s history left an impression we can see traces of today.

Gallery Credit: Brit McGinnis

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