Jim Olson asked a long-time member of the KX News staff to reflect on what it was like working during the spring of ’97.
Meteorologist Tom Schrader had just recently moved to North Dakota when the storm hit…
(Tom Schrader) “My first blizzard. I lived in Alaska – they don’t have blizzards in Anchorage. My first blizzard.”
(Jim Olson) So what happened with you – you practically died in your first blizzard.”
(Tom Schrader) “I was driving into work – the station at the time happened to be right next to the Chrysler dealership. So I’m trying to turn left – the gates are up – I’m trying to turn and I’m going the wrong way down Broadway because I missed the road. So I turned around and drove into a snow bank on the other side of the Chrysler building. The wind was blowing so hard and I was wearing dress shoes, which was not smart, I had to crawl in between cars. It took me 45 minutes to go across the parking lot. I crawled through the KX parking lot up to the front door because I was so tired. I walked inside and the sports guy at the time said – he’s gonna die! Can you imagine the headline at the time? Weatherman Dies in Blizzard? It could have been me.”
(Jim Olson) We’d have actual irony – which is unusual!
Tom, of course, survived his first blizzard and has gone on to report on many more in the past 20 years – but these days he wears actual snow boots when he’s out in the nasty weather!
Jim Olson has had some storm stories himself over his 30 years with KX.
In April of 1997 he was doing what he seems to love doing – driving around talking to people dealing with the weather.
He ran into one man who had a lot of digging to do to recover from the blizzard.
(Jim Olson) “Did you honestly think last Friday that you’d have to be out here doing this again?”
(Resident) “Oh no. Last Friday I was mopping out my basement from the water. Had to install a couple of sump pumps and now I’m out here shoveling snow.”
(Jim Olson) “Welcome to North Dakota.”
(Resident) “Yeah, Amen.”