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This is what a snowplow looked like when St. Louis experienced record cold in 1960

From frozen streets to frozen pipes, crews had to get creative when handling the record cold of March 1960.

ST. LOUIS — March is usually when we have all had enough of winter and usually, that’s when winter has had enough of us. 

But in 1960, winter’s grip was so tight that temperatures didn’t climb above freezing for the first three weeks of meteorological spring.

In March of 1960, roadways were surprisingly clear of crashes around St. Louis, not bad considering four and all-wheel-drive cars weren’t run of the mill the way they are today. The path wasn't perfectly clear, but better than you might expect considering what snow plows looked like at the time. Luckily, there have been plenty of advancements in snowplow technology since then.

Credit: KSDK
1960 March cold snap

Plows may have improved, but one tool has stayed pretty much the same: snow shovels. Lines of shovelers cleared sidewalks of snow and had their work cut out for them. Nearly 30 inches of snow fell over central Missouri that year.

The biggest issues weren’t on the roads, but up in the air. Pipes on high rises in town froze and burst, resulting in stories-tall icicles. Firefighters had to climb their ladder trucks and chip away at the ice by hand.  

It’s no surprise St. Louis’ coldest temperature ever recorded in March belongs to 1960, on March 5, when the mercury dropped to five below zero. Last year the coldest it got in March was a balmy 27 degrees.

We've got much warmer temperatures to look forward to for the rest of this March, with temperatures in the 70s and even near the 80s so far this year.

RELATED: Spring weather outlook: Spring in St. Louis can be a wild ride

5 at 75 Anniversary Celebration

We are continuing to remember the biggest moments in St. Louis history over the last 75 years as 5 On Your Side celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2022. Take a walk back in time with some of the biggest stories from each decade:

1940s: TV comes to St. Louis

1950s: Major moments captured on video

1960s: A decade of innovation

1970s: Fights, royalty and a big change

1980s: Lasting legacies and trailblazers

1990s: The stories that left a lasting impression

2000s: Making an impact for generations

2010s: Once-in-a-lifetime moments

Be sure to learn more about our banner show at locations throughout the Bi-state.

Find complete 5 On Your Side anniversary coverage, stories and videos at ksdk.com/75.

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