The North American ice storm of January 1961 was a massive ice storm that struck areas of northern Idaho in the United States at the start of January 1961. The storm set a record for thickest recorded ice accumulation from a single storm in the United States, at 8 inches. The storm covered areas from Grangeville, in north central Idaho, to the US-Canadian border. A combination of dense fog, sub-freezing temperatures, and occasional freezing rain led to the heavy ice accretions. Catastrophic damage to trees and utilities resulted, resulting in widespread power outages. Prior to this storm, previous records of between 4 and 6 inches of ice were recorded in New York and Texas. Imagine if you will ice that is 8” thick. That is thicker than several ice cubes stacked end to end. Imagine it covering everything, consider its sheer weight. It caused almost all the tress in the region to break apart. All wires fell, roofs and other structures caved in. Consider how long it would take all that ice to melt – it was weeks and many were without power for even longer. It caused the power industry to devise new ways of not only restoring power, but new ways to distribute power including more sub stations to generate power and the burying of wires and utility lines.
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