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What Louisvillians remember from the 1994 snowstorm

From homemade igloos to an emergency helipad clearing, it was an unforgettable few days.

A bridge hangs over a frozen river, as a tow boat pushes through the ice. On the banks, snow covers the walkways.

At one point during the storm, the Ohio River froze over.

Photo by William Alden III via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, we took a look back at Derby City’s’s 1994 snowstorm, and we askedlink if you had any memories of the 15 inches of snow — and boy did you.

So many of you shared how you spent those wintry days 30 years ago that we decided to round up some of our favorite, icy anecdotes.

Igloos, Derby City style

“Built an igloo so big that my parents fit in it comfortably with kids and it stood up for several days.” — BF

“I was six-years-old and remember the snow build-up being as tall as me and felt like I was in a magical winter wonderland. Using the paths my father dug out around our home, I dug a hole into one of them to create an ‘igloo.’ I stayed in my new igloo home until I got too cold and curled up by the fire with the rest of my family. Even though the weather was harsh, the memories with my family and playing in the snow warm my heart.” — Christina M.


“Cross country skiing at Crescent Hill golf course!” — Laurie G.

The snow must go on

“I was working at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. ‘Phantom of the Opera’ was playing, and needless to say, the city was very excited. I believe they canceled the show the first night of the snow, but the next night they asked all employees to stay downtown and they put us up at the Hyatt... For the next few nights. We were ushers and anything else needed to help the show go on! When we returned to the Hyatt that evening, they were out of food in the dining room. I think they scrounged up some chicken nuggets for us or something. I know it was scary for a lot of people, but I have wonderful memories of helping that amazing production go on!” — Karyl B.

Stuck with the boyfriend

“I was a freshman in high school. One thing I remember is my sister’s boyfriend got stuck at our house. His entire car was covered in snow.” — Alicia O.

“My brother had just started dating a girl and was stuck at her house with only Twizzlers to eat. We dug out our four-by-four and went to get him. We still joke about it.” — Peggy T.

College kids

“Was a student at Bellarmine and with a long weekend for the MLK holiday, there were a few more guests in the dorms partying on a Sunday night than would be usual... The snow forced the college to close still for a few more days after the Monday holiday, so when our ramen noodles, Chef Boyardee, and microwave popcorn ran out, a hungry few dorm residents and stranded visitors found a canoe (to this day, I still don’t where it came from) and shoved it across Bellarmine’s hilly campus now covered in 15- to 20-inch snow drifts. We convinced campus security to unlock the dining hall kitchen where we proceeded to load the canoe with bread, deli meat and cheese, and shoved it back down Bellarmine’s hills to feed the dorm students and their stranded guests.” — Matt K.

Southeast Christian helipad

“I remember pushing snow in my truck for Southeast Christian Church when they stopped me and asked me to push off a spot for a helicopter to land so a little girl could get on it to go get a transplant. So many people showed up to help shovel. It was an amazing event.” — Greg D.

Bonus: That event was so amazing that Hollywood has scooped it up. Oscar-winner Hillary Swank is starring in “Ordinary Angels,” which tells the story of that girl + her family. The preview includes lots of Louisville touches, like a copy of The Courier Journal. It comes out on Feb. 23.

From LOU to the Caribbean

“I was working on a cruise ship for Princess Cruise Lines. It just seemed surreal that Louisville got all that snow while I was swimming in the ocean in Martinique.” — David W.

Way to rub it in, David.

Want to share your memories from 1994? We’d love to hear from you.

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