Colorado Springs got off easy during the storm: a mere 24 inches of snow. Georgetown, in the mountains, got an extraordinary 86 inches of snow. (For the curious, the record for most snow in a single day happened in Silver Lake, a ghost town near Telluride: 78 inches.)
The heavy snowfall occurred due to above- freezing temperatures and high moisture. Warmer weather allowed snow to become sticky and accumulate, and that same weather let it start melting. It also made the storm, in spite of its power, a relatively safe one: no deaths were reported, telephones and utilities didn’t fail, and there was no mass looting.
In Lafayette at least, residents in 1913 had one advantage over 2018. They didn’t rely as much on electricity and gas. With no refrigerators, they kept their food preserved in cellars. To heat their homes, they had a supply of coal in a backyard coal shed. In many ways, the Snow- storm of 1913 was just a major inconvenience. In 2018, a similar snowstorm would be a dire emergency.
The Snowstorm of 1913 had long-term bene ts as well. The Rocky Mountain News reported that farmers rejoiced in the snowstorm, which led to a successful 1914 crop. After ski- ing through the streets of Denver, Norwegian immigrant Carl Howelsen was inspired to build a ski-jump in Steamboat Springs. Today, Howelsen Hill is still used to train skiers for the Winter Olympics. Colorado’s ski industry had begun.