The blizzard of 1997 hit southern Colorado 20 years ago today

The blizzard of 1997 outside the National Weather Service office in Pueblo. _ Courtesy National Weather Service_200533
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It was 20 years ago Tuesday that a deadly blizzard hit southern Colorado, bringing 19 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.

The wild weather hit Colorado Springs Friday, October 24, and didn’t let up until the following evening.

A total of seven people were killed in the 1997 blizzard, according to the National Weather Service. Three people in El Paso County died of carbon monoxide poisoning after becoming stranded in their cars. A driver froze to death in a car on Fort Carson. In Otero County, an elderly woman froze to death when she tried to walk home after her car got stuck. A man on a hunting trip in Bent County froze to death while looking for other hunters. A seventh person died in a car crash in Pueblo during the blizzard.

The storm injured several others, including two people in Colorado Springs who were hurt when a gas station canopy collapsed under the weight of the snow.

The blizzard dumped an impressive amount of snow, according to data from the National Weather Service. Northern Colorado Springs, Black Forest, and Monument reported three to four feet of snow. At Palmer Lake, 52 inches of snow was reported. The snow blew and piled into drifts up to 15 feet deep.

Snow totals from the October blizzard of 1997. / Image courtesy National Weather Service

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