The blizzard of 1973 remains a strong memory across South Carolina.
It was a ferocious storm hardly anyone had seen before, much like the floods after record rain in the Midlands in October and Hurricane Hugo in 1989.
The snow that began Feb. 9 fell for 24 hours and stayed on the ground a week, shutting down much of the Palmetto State.
Columbia received 15 inches while some areas got as little as 2 inches and others as much as 2 feet. The northwest corner of the state received none.
As in the flood and hurricane, there were countless stories of compassion and heroism:
▪ Farm tractors pulled vehicles out of ditches.
▪ Church volunteers fed and cared for hundreds of stranded motorists in shelters and homes.
▪ National Guard members rescued others stuck on roads and delivered food as then-Gov. John West promised no one would go hungry.
The blizzard – called a once-in-a-century storm – claimed 14 lives, with damage and cleanup costing $30 million.
About this series: The inaugural edition of The State newspaper was published Feb. 18, 1891. In anticipation of the 125th anniversary, the Palmetto section and this section at thestate.com are recounting each day how The State covered newsmakers and events vital to South Carolina’s history.