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You think this is bad? Denver's biggest storm had the city buried in over 3 feet of snow for days

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Posted at 12:43 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 15:13:14-05

DENVER — Parts of Colorado is in the midst of a major winter storm, dumping several inches of snow and causing major disruptions to travel during a busy Thanksgiving break. Some areas of the state are set to receive 20 or more inches of snow before the storm moves out.

MORE: Live Blog | What to Expect Tuesday | Snow totals | Forecast | Highway closures | Weather Page | Closings and Delays | Radar | Traffic

Colorado is no stranger to snowstorms. Tuesday's blast of snow, while considered one of the heaviest to hit the state in years, pales in comparison to some of the worst storms to hit the Denver area.

Here are the 10 worst snowstorms in Denver, according to the National Weather Service:

  • Dec 1-5, 1913: 45.7 inches of snow
  • Mar 17-19, 2003: 31.8 inches of snow
  • Nov 2-4, 1946: 30.4 inches of snow
  • Dec 24, 1982: 23.8 inches of snow
  • Apr 23, 1885: 23 inches of snow
  • Oct 20-23, 1906: 22.7 inches of snow
  • Oct 24-25, 1997: 21.9 inches of snow
  • Nov 26-27, 1983: 21.5 inches of snow
  • Dec 20-21, 2006: 20.7 inches of snow
  • Jan 29-31, 1883: 19.3 inches of snow

In December of 1913, the Denver area was walloped with several days of snowfall. After everything was said and done, the city was buried in 45.7 inches of snow. It was the largest amount of snowfall from a single storm in Denver, according to records obtained from the National Weather Service.

Pictures of the event, courtesy of the Denver Library’s digital archive, showed buried cable cars, roads and sidewalks. The storm essentially shuttered the city for days.

But not everyone was having a miserable time. Denver children were seen in photos sledding down the steep streets of Capitol Hill.

“Turning Eighth Avenue, below, into a snow run for sledders and a reminder for us that monstrous snowstorms are nothing new in Denver,” read the photo's caption.

Here are photos of the 1913 snow event, courtesy of the Denver Library:

Here are photos of Colorado's 'Big Snow' event in 1913 to cool you off
1913: A street car makes its way along 17th (Seventeenth) Avenue, Denver, Colorado. Snow has been cleared and piled high on sides of streets. Landmark buildings include the Albany Hotel and the 1892 Equitable Building.
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Few tracks are visible in the deep snow that covers 17th (Seventeenth) Avenue, Denver, Colorado. Down a hill, the Savoy Hotel and a pedestrian can be seen.

Here are photos of Colorado's 'Big Snow' event in 1913 to cool you off
Men haul snow from the downtown area, in horse drawn wagons, along Sixteenth Street towards Broadway Avenue to dump in Civic Center, Denver, Colorado. Business signs include: "The [Y]ee Foo Lun, C.H.D. Chinese Herb Institute, Have Cured Thousands, Why Not You?" "Elite Photo Studio" "Photo Supplies" "Haines Hair Store" "Kodak Supplies" and "Capitol Cap Factory."
View of a shoveled path along a sidewalk on Clarkson Street after the snowstorm of 1913. Shows snow covered houses, lawns, trees and street.
Men in Civic Center unload snow laden horse-drawn wagons after the snowstorm of 1913 in Denver, Colorado. Shows pedestrians on the sidewalk, the Arapahoe County Courthouse building and the Majestic Hotel are in the distance. A sign reads, "Oil and Gas (?) 500,000 Population for Denver, the Colorado Producers Oil Company."

Two men walk on the sidewalk in front of the State Capitol Building cleared of deep snow from the December 1913 storm, Denver, Colorado.