It began in silence. At 4 o'clock one morning a drizzle started in a big section of the Texas Panhandle. There was no wind. The temperature hovered at the freezing point, barely above, barely below. Fog, rain & sleet froze on trees and telephone wires. By noon trees in Amarillo were groaning with the weight of ice on their limbs. By midnight three-fourths of the town's telephone circuits were useless. By 1:30 the next afternoon the power lines were down. Western Union lost 800 poles, 2,000 crossarms, had 100,000 wire breaks. In Amarillo 100 telephone poles toppled (throughout the storm area,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!