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The Children's Blizzard

January 26, 2010 - Cindy Votruba
For December, my book club read “The Children’s Blizzard” by David Laskin. It was about the Jan. 12, 1888 blizzard that essentially came out of nowhere in the Plains, hitting the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Nebraska killing around 500 people, including many kids. It had started out as a sunny day with the temperatures in the 40s. Some of the kids who had gone to school weren’t wearing warm coats or hats. People went about their chores.

Snow and wind hit the area with a wallop. Several of the students decided to take a chance and leave their school to head toward the closest house or even their folks’ home. Many died of exposure or hypothermia. Some did survive, but had bad frostbite or had limbs amputated.

Monday’s gusty wind and snow kind of reminded me of that book, but fortunately for students at Westbrook-Walnut Grove, they, along with stranded staff, stayed where they were. In fact, it was kind of like a big party; they had food, they had entertainment. But it wasn't easy sleeping on a wrestling mat on the gym floor.


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