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Snow Storm of 1997


A Once in Two Hundred Year Storm?

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The storm caused extensive tree damage.
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It inconvenienced many at home...
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and on the road.

It was according to Professor Ken Dewey, a Climatologist in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who statistically ranked the October 1997 snowstorm as being a "once in a 200-year snowstorm".

The snowstorm which struck the upper Midwest during the weekend of October 24-26, 1997 and surprised many people by the amount of snow that fell in such a short time. The snow which fell did so with very damaging effects. Many trees were damaged and many tree branches fell, causing widespread power outages in many communities including Lincoln and Omaha. Thousands were without power for up to ten days after the catastrophic event.

This website provides an introduction into what occurred during that October weekend by the use of meteorological surface analyses, satellite imagery and by pictures taken at ground level by those of us who wished to capture the emotion of what took place.

The state-wide damage estimate was initially thought to be in excess of 70 million dollars, however according to Mr. Joe Martin, Nebraska Public Assistance Officer for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the current estimate is approximately 40 million dollars. According to Martin, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency - has provided some compensation to assist with storm related damage along with the extra cost of clearing snow emergency roads and so forth. Martin also indicated that of the original 222 applicants, about 70 were found to be not eligible for FEMA money. There are still several claims yet to be settled.