By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – If you lived in Colorado during the late 1990s then you probably remember the deadly blizzard of 1997.

It hit on Oct. 25 and was one of the worst storms on record for eastern Colorado with powerful winds that created snow drifts up to 10 feet deep on the plains.

97 guy in snow Oct. 1997 Blizzard Buried Eastern Colorado 21 Years Ago Today

The 1997 blizzard in Denver happened during a strong El Nino. (credit: CBS)

Snow totals ranged from 14-31 inches along and east of Interstate 25 with 2-4 feet in the adjacent foothills.

Several major highways and Denver International Airport shut down, stranding thousands of travelers across the region.

In Denver, at least 120 cars were abandoned along Peña Blvd. as high wind created white-out conditions and large drifts of snow.

97 blizzard6 Oct. 1997 Blizzard Buried Eastern Colorado 21 Years Ago Today

(credit: CBS)

Four people and thousands of cattle died as a result of the severe conditions.

Snow totals include…

  • Coal Creek Canyon – 51″
  • Silver Spruce Ranch near Ward – 48″
  • Intercanyon (foothills SW of Denver) – 47″
  • Sedalia – 37″
  • Aspen Springs – 35″
  • Conifer – 35″
  • Eldorado Springs – 31″
  • Southeast Aurora – 31″
  • Englewood – 31″
  • Table Mesa (Boulder) – 30″
  • Stapleton Airport (Denver) – 21.9″
  • Denver International Airport – 14″
  • 97 blizzard12 Oct. 1997 Blizzard Buried Eastern Colorado 21 Years Ago Today

    Heavy, wet snow blanketed much of the Front Range during a blizzard that hit on Oct. 24-25, 1997. (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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