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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., Jan. 13, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Snow was the big story in Spokane, with 16.8 inches on the ground, most of it fallen within the last two days.

The taxi companies said they were restricted to the streets in the city center. They tried to make runs on the city’s outskirts, but “the effort was futile in most instances.”

It was also cold, with a high of 22 degrees.

The city was going after property owners who failed to clear their sidewalks. An ordinance specified that owners in the “fire district” (essentially, downtown) had to clear their sidewalks by 9 a.m. after a storm.

Public Safety Commissioner Coates said “if any places are found uncleaned at 9 o’clock, notice will be served and an example will be made.”

The blizzard was raising havoc in the Cascades, too. A telegraph operator at Keechelus near Snoqualmie Pass sent the following chilling message: “I heard an indescribable rumbling and roaring at intervals during the afternoon, and snowslide after snowslide tumbled down and over the Milwaukee tracks, burying them for many miles. … The slides took trees with them, first breaking them as I could splinter matches.

“Fortunately, there were no passenger trains in line with the avalanche.”

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