Mon, Feb. 24

VERDE HERITAGE 1937: New Year's Eve Snow Storm

The "New Year's Eve snow started falling at 7 a.m. and continued hardly without abating for 22 hours. The result was a depth of approximately 18 inches when the snow stopped falling at 5 a.m," at Prescott. "It had little opportunity to thaw during the day because the maximum temperature was 32."

At 11:45 p.m. "the Verde line snapped, which made it necessary to secure power [for Prescott] from the Phelps Dodge Corporation, United Verde branch. ... It meant the crews had to set out in the storm to effect repairs. It meant working under the most adverse conditions. ... Perseverance and hard work, however, at length were rewarded for the last line break had been repaired by 5 p.m. New Year's Day" including "two on the Verde line."

(Prescott Evening Courier; Saturday, January 2, 1937; pages 1 and 2.)

On Sunday, January 3, the minimum temperature was -15, a new all-time record low, and the maximum temperature was 31. (Prescott Evening Courier; Monday, January 4, 1937; page 1.) That record was soon broken with a -22 temperature.

Jerome: "Those in the funeral procession Wednesday afternoon from Jerome to Mountain View Cemetery, at the burial of Attorney Heyward Middleton Gibbes, who died Sunday night, encountered some difficulty on State 79 [now 89-A] coming over, particularly when one of the leading cars got stuck in the snow. Not a few motorists left here around 6 o'clock on the way back with misgivings because of the intensity of the storm. All returned safely to their Verde Valley homes, so far as it could be learned."

January 7: "The heaviest snow storm in 20 years lashed into central and southern Arizona from the north today."

"Whittier's 'Snowbound' certainly could be reread at this time with sympathetic understanding in all of North Central and Northern Arizona because conditions are approaching such an impasse, judging by a general check-up made this morning by Harry Raber, manager of the Mountain States Telephone and telegraph company here. Average snow depths were: Flagstaff, 4 feet; Williams, 2 to 4 feet; Grand Canyon, 3 feet and still snowing; Prescott, 18 inches."

"Malcolm M. Bridgewater, general superintendent of Arizona Power Corporation, ... said .62 of an inch of rain and snow fell at Tapco (near Clarkdale) but only about a quarter of an inch of snow remained on the ground this morning."

"Atop Mingus Mountain the snow was 4 feet deep. On the road to Jerome the mail truck is stuck in the snow and the snow plow was out of commission at 11:15 a.m."

"At 10 o'clock this morning the only main highway open to traffic out of Prescott was U.S. 89, but only after highway crews, using power machinery, had pushed the accumulation of snow, some of it 3 feet deep or more, off to one side. The cleaned path, however, was narrow. At the same time other main highways were blocked with snow, including State 79 to the Verde Valley, the Senator highway, the Iron Springs highway, and the Black Canyon highway."

Prescott: Total snowfall this month to date, more than 25 inches. New snow 12 I/2 inches; total snow on the ground, 18 inches.

(Prescott Evening Courier; Thursday, January 7, 1937; pages 1 and 2.)

January 19: New blizzard arrived Tuesday morning. "A whistling overnight south wind whipped in a regular blizzard this morning, and by noon had shaken about 4 or 5 inches of new snow out of the skies over Prescott. ... This is the 9th snowfall for this year and the 14th since the day after Christmas."

A Prescott resident for more than 40 years remarked that "he has never seen a one-after-another storm like the old town has been having the last 3 weeks. During that period an estimated 50 inches of snow has fallen, with at least an average depth of 12 inches still on the ground."

(Prescott Evening Courier; Tuesday, January 19, 1937; pages 1 and 3.)

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