“A terrible snowstorm, which local old-timers hadn’t experienced for many years, burst out on the 15th and on the night of January 16 over Norilsk. In the morning it was warm and quiet in the city, but from lunch an impulsive wind blew, and by evening it reached extraordinary power. The wind speed was first 28, then 34 meters per second and, finally, exceeded 40.
The hurricane caused great damage to the city’s economy. It paralyzed the work of transport for a while, cut off high-voltage wires in hundreds of places, and pulled out long pieces from them. Almost all mines were left without electricity. Some villages were cut from light and heat, arrays of snow lay on a railway track and roads connecting the city with industrial areas.
The residential buildings suffered from the hurricane a lot. The wind tore off some roofs, knocked out the windows, destroyed small buildings. In the city, urgent measures were immediately taken to eliminate destruction caused by the hurricane.
First of all, all forces were thrown to restore the electrical circuit: mines, metallurgical plants received current, 16 bulldozers were aimed at clearing the railway tracks to the TPP.
To the combine’s heart – the Thermal Power Plant – the truckfuls with coal were drawn one after another. Cleaning equipment is working day and night. The industry of the city is returning to normal life”.
But, despite the newspaper’s confident tone, the black blizzard impressed the townspeople. They say that after it, the most susceptible Komsomol volunteers, who had come to build the city, left it.
It is known that Norilsk is one of the windiest cities of the planet. Blizzards, storm warnings and multi – meter snow drifts are exotic for mainland residents, but the usual thing for northerners. We can cope with this disaster.
In the History Spot’s previous publication, we talked about how the first settlers of our territory grew trial polar yields here. Cabbage took root best in Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive