And now it’s time for Beaver County Memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. This time of year always conjures up memories of the greatest snowstorm to ever hit the area, the fabled Thanksgiving snowstorm of 1950.
Over twenty seven inches of snow fell in three days starting on Thanksgiving day that year. Not only was it a record amount of snow, but because of the early time of the season, it was wet, heavy snow according to many published reports, and caused lots of trouble for area motorists, as well as leading to several building and roof collapses up and down the entire valley. Some records indicate that snow kept falling on the area for twenty straight hours and by Monday, November twenty seventh, local towns were left to try and dig out from the massive blizzard.
Drifts were so high in some places that entire cars were buried parked alongside city streets, and keep in mind, this was 1950, and there were no such things as compact cars. Having to dig out around the road, so that you could find your Packard was really saying something about snow that blanketed Beaver County that weekend.
Food became scarce. Unlike today, where weather forecasts predict oncoming storms for days in advance, and thus giving people a chance to stock up on toilet paper, milk, bread and other essentials. In 1950, preparations for the storm were minimal at best. and many were caught totally by surprise. This led to long lines forming outside at the few stores that did try to open over the next day or two following the now infamous snowfall. Two engineers working at the WBVP transmitter building in Pulaski Township found themselves snowed in for almost a week and had to rely on local neighbors to dig a tunnel through the snow and deliver food out to them. In an except from the forthcoming book “Behind the Microphone” about the history of radio in Beaver County, contributor Dave Felts recounted the “snow in” of 1950 at the WBVP transmitter as follows; “During that time, the transmitter was up on a hill in Pulaski Township and back nearly a half mile from the main road. There was a crew in the building to run the transmitter and make sure all was well with the radio signal. The road leading back to the building from thirty sixth street in New Brighton was clogged with snow and it would be days until snow plows could get up there to clear the snow away.
A family by the name of Procovich lived near the corner of the main road leading back to the broadcast site.. Mrs. Procovich decided that her boys should shovel a path back to the transmitter building so she could get food to the crew there. For several days, her boys took turns taking hot meals back to the crew at the transmitter building. Nearly a week after the snow storm, plows reached the area and were finally able to get back to the transmitter site and free the crew there.”
Only two times since then, has Beaver County received over twenty inches of snow in any one storm, once in 1993, and again in 2010, but even those well remembered snowfalls can’t compare to the Thanksgiving snowstorm of 1950.
This has been Beaver County memories, brought to you by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. Tune in every day at this time for another Beaver County Memory. You can also click the Beaver County Memories link at Beaver County Radio dot com for a transcript of this and other Beaver County Memories. Celebrating and preserving memories through their special memory care program, it’s St Barnabas Beaver Meadows.