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Six devastating ice storms from Idaho to the U.K.

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By Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter
@DFLCMartins
Sunday, December 22, 2013, 7:40 PM

The ice storm currently ravaging Eastern Canada is one of the worst seen in fifteen years, with hundreds of thousands of people out of power and ice accretions of more than 40 mm reported in parts of southern Ontario and Quebec.


STORM WATCH: Tune into The Weather Network on TV for continued updates on this storm.


When ice storms like this happen, they can be deadly, devastating events that define a generation.

Here are six of the worst on record.

1951: Tennessee Nashville

We imagine the southern United States as a relatively balmy place compared to Canada, but that part of the country has been the scene of some catastrophic ice storms over the decades.

Older folks in Nashville, Tennessee probably still tell stories about the one that struck the city in January and February of 1951.

Image: Government of Tennessee

Image: Government of Tennessee

Several inches of sleet was already on the ground by the time the snows came, and when the temperatures began to plummet (as low as -25C), the daily freeze-thaw just became one big deep freeze, with a total of 25 cm of ice and snow covering the city’s streets and sidewalks.

Around 16,000 homes and 80,000 people were in the dark – and people in new electric-only homes were forced to take refuge elsewhere as electric stove tops and furnaces became useless. It took ten days for the city’s power and communications infrastructure to be useable again.

Image: Government of Tennesseee.

Image: Government of Tennesseee.

Nashville was the hardest hit, but that ice storm and blizzard covered several states from Louisiana to West Virginia. It caused 25 deaths, more than 500 injuries and around $100 million in damages, unadjusted for inflation.

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