#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The black blizzard, which is still so memorable to the Norilsk people, broke out in January 1957. Cyclones one after another overcame the city for several days. The most ferocious storm fell on January 15-16. The city newspaper called it a hurricane, and described the damage in several issues in a row.
The wind speed exceeded 40 meters per second. It overturned buses, knocked down poles, tore off roofs. In a hundred places, it cut off high-voltage wires, tearing out several poles at a time.
The hurricane paralyzed the entire work of transport, the functioning of the thermal power plant was threatened, and days-off were announced in schools, kindergartens, city organizations and consumer services. The telephone connection was interrupted.
Industrial facilities were transferred to a barracks position: some workers could not leave the shop, others could not get to work. All mines were left without electricity. Car cables were pulled along the streets so that people could move holding on them.
The radio constantly broadcast calls not to leave home without a serious reason: they had to go almost blindly, people got lost in the impenetrable snow streams two meters from the porch.
The inhabitants of the Norilsk temporary wagon-like houses had the worst. To prevent them from being carried over, in the barracks villages they created their own teams of snow-diggers who dug out buildings covered with snow. When the black blizzard subsided, six-meter snowdrifts rose near some of the wagons.
To eliminate the consequences of the hurricane, all workers and employees were taken out to clear roads and territories. They say that after the black blizzard the most impressionable Komsomol volunteers, who had come to Norilsk on four years earlier, left the city.
On June 22, 1957, the USSR Council of Ministers accepted the proposal of the USSR State Planning Committee to compensate the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine for losses from a natural disaster (blizzard) in the amount of almost 20 million rubles.
Norilsk is one of the windiest cities on the planet. Strong winds are causing damage nowadays too.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we talked about why Sevastopolskaya street was considered a cultural broadway of Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive