By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – Can you believe it has been 15 years since the March 2003 blizzard struck the Front Range?

Heavy snow fell for nearly 3 straight days and paralyzed the region. The snow contained so much water that it ended a major drought.

blizzard 27 Saturday Marks 15 Years Since March 03 Blizzard Paralyzed Front Range

(credit: CBS)

evergreen 18 Saturday Marks 15 Years Since March 03 Blizzard Paralyzed Front Range

Evergreen got 72 inches of snow and a CBS4 crew got stuck in the mountain town at CBS4 photographer Tom Meyer’s house. This is a photo he took of CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll during the storm.

In Denver, it was one of the worst blizzards since weather records began in 1872 with three to seven feet of snow falling around the metro area. Wind gusts topped 40 mph at times and caused significant drifting.

The weight of the snow damaged or destroyed hundreds of structures and caused a total of 93 million dollars in damage. Two people died in Aurora from heart attacks after shoveling the heavy, wet snow.

blizzard 28 Saturday Marks 15 Years Since March 03 Blizzard Paralyzed Front Range

(credit: CBS)

Over 100,000 people lost power, some for several days. The storm closed Denver International Airport and stranded about 4,000 travelers.

Several avalanches in the mountains and foothills caused major problems, including at Eldora Ski Area, where nearly 300 skiers were stranded after an avalanche closed the main access road. A military helicopter had to ferry food to the area after the storm.

In the foothills of Jefferson County thousands were trapped inside their homes for several days as crews worked to plow roads.

blizzard Saturday Marks 15 Years Since March 03 Blizzard Paralyzed Front Range

(credit: CBS)

The following is a list of snow totals from that storm.

Rollinsville – 87.5″
Fritz Peak 1S – 87.5″
Cabin Creek – 83.0″
Winter Park Ski Area – 77.5″
Bergen Park 3SW – 74.0″
Berthoud Pass – 73.0″
Evergreen 8NW – 72.9″
Coal Creek Canyon – 71.8″
Bear Lake – 69.0″
Conifer 4ENE – 69.0″
Allenspark – 67.0″
Georgetown – 66.9″
Idaho Springs 10WNW – 66.1″
Conifer 3W – 66.0″
Red Feather Lakes 1W – 64.0″
Jamestown 3W – 63.0″
Chatfield 5W – 62.6″
Eldora Ski Area – 62.0″
Black Hawk 3N – 60.0″
Lookout Mountain – 58.2″
A-Basin Ski Area – 56.0″
Sedalia 8W – 54.0″
Evergreen 1SW – 53.2″
Boulder 7SW – 51.0″
Golden 4SW – 50.5″
Buffalo Creek – 48.0″
Pine Junction – 48.0″
Sedalia 10SW – 48.0″
Tabernash – 48.0″
Ken Caryl Ranch – 46.6″
Deckers – 46.0″
Sedalia 5SW – 46.0″
Bailey 2NE – 45.0″
Genesee – 45.0″
Nederland 4ENE – 44.0″
Estes Park 3SW – 42.0″
Roxborough Village – 42.0″
Aurora – 40.3″
Bellvue – 40.0″
Centennial – 38.0″
Parker 6E – 38.0″
Eldorado Springs – 37.6″
Larkspur 2W – 37.5″
Buckley AFB – 37.0″
Stove Prairie – 36.5″
Castle Rock – 36.0″
Lakewood – 36.0″
Crow Hill – 35.0″
Denver SW – 35.0″
Highlands Ranch – 35.0″
Estes Park – 34.0″
Louisville – 34.0″
Arvada – 33.0″
Rustic 9WSW – 33.0″
Thornton – 33.0″
Parker – 32.0″
Stapleton – 31.8″ (Official Denver site)
Denver NW – 31.5″
Broomfield – 31.0″
Fort Collins 1S – 31.0″
Westminster – 31.0″
Copper Mountain Ski Area – 30.0″
Franktown – 30.0″
Carter Lake – 29.0″
Breckenridge Ski Area – 28.0″
Fort Collins 4E – 28.0″
Hartsel 15SW – 28.0″
Westcreek 1S – 27.0″
Boulder 6E – 25.2″
Loveland 1SW – 24.5″
Boulder NOAA Building – 22.5″
Elizabeth 6N – 22.0″
Erie – 22.0″
Erie 1NW – 21.5″
Brighton – 19.0″
Denver International Airport – 19.0″
Keenesburg 4S – 18.0″
Strasburg 1N – 18.0″
Wiggins 1.5S – 17.0″
Bennett 4S – 16.0″
Longmont – 16.0″
Virginia Dale – 16.0″
Bennett 4S – 15.0″
Lake George – 14.0″
Matheson 8SE – 13.2″
Johnstown 2N – 12.0″
Fairplay – 11.0″
Mead 3E – 11.0″
Greeley – 10.3″
Byers 5NE – 10.0″
Antero Reservoir – 8.0″
Wellington – 7.5″
Evans – 6.0″
Limon – 6.0″
Hugo 6W – 5.0″
Eaton 5ENE – 3.0″
New Raymer – 2.5″
Karval – 2.0″
Gill 3NW – 1.0″
Karval 7NE – 1.0″
Lindon 5WNW – 1.0″
Sterling – Trace
Holyoke – 0.0″
Julesburg – 0.0″

blizzard 20 Saturday Marks 15 Years Since March 03 Blizzard Paralyzed Front Range

Denver Area Blizzard, March 2003 (credit: CBS)

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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