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The National Weather Service reports that one of Wisconsin’s worst ice storms occurred on Feb. 22, 1922. Now, 100 years later, Wisconsin is facing another ice storm. Coincidentally, it’s occurring today, on Feb. 22, 2022.

The Ice Storm that spanned Feb. 21-23, 1922, caused damage across the state of Wisconsin. During that time period, ice accumulations reached 1-2″, with a few reports of around 4″, according to the National Weather Service. The severity of this winter storm caused $10 million in damages staggered across Wisconsin. Likewise, Northeastern Iowa and Southeastern Minnesota also faced the storm.

Ice Storm Damage

The National Weather Service stated that “newspaper accounts were rather sketchy on the extent of this damage.” However, Sauk County Historical Society reported that “trees toppled like toothpicks and electric power and telephone poles snapped leaving some communities cut off and in the dark for over a month.”

15,000-20,000 communication poles crashed down due to the ice accumulation during the winter ice storm in 1922. Wisconsinites were impacted and left without power, telegraph and phone services anywhere from two to 15 days. Furthermore, the ice accounted for 10 train wrecks. Flooding affected cities such as La Crosse, Sheboygan, Darlington, Fond du Lac, and a suburb in Milwaukee.

The National Weather Service reported only two deaths were attributed to the 1922 storm.

Remembering the storm

According to Sauk County Historical Society, this storm is known as “The Great Ice Storm of 2-22-22.” The historical event left Wisconsinites resorting back to pioneer times. The Sauk County Historical Society has preserved the history of this unforgettable weather. As today is the 100-year anniversary of the infamous storm, they are hosting free presentations both online and in-person.

The first presentation is today, Feb. 22, 2022, at 7 p.m. at the History Center, 900 2nd Ave., Baraboo, WI. Seating is limited to 40 people at the in-person event. The second event, however, will take place on March 3, 2022, and currently has 98 spaces left. This presentation will be a YouTube live stream. Registration is necessary for either event. Register here.

Today’s Ice Storm

The ferocious storm was memorable and 100 years later, another ice storm is hitting Wisconsin. Read about the winter weather advisory that is impacting our communities today.


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