The Christmas Blizzard of 2009 smashed weather records, burying residents in almost 2 feet of snow and creating bigger drifts than many people remember in their lifetimes.
As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls recorded a four-day total of 20.7 inches of snow in Sioux City.
Don Miller, hydrometeorological technician for the National Weather Service, said Sioux City got the most snow of the major cities included in the agency's Sioux Falls service area.
Two of those days broke snow records as well.
The 3.7 inches that fell Wednesday beat an 88-year-old record of 3 inches set in 1921.
On Friday, 8 inches of snow bettered the previous record of 6 inches that fell in 1996.
Although it didn't break records, 5.5 inches fell on Thursday and another 3.5 fell on Saturday.
Brian Fahrendholz, public works field services supervisor, said this storm dumped more snow than any he's seen in 11 years with the city. Older members of the roads department compared it to a storm about 30 years ago, he said.
In 1982, a storm dumped 17.6 inches of snow in what obervers at the time called the worst snowstorm in 20 years.
Craig Theeler, 60, of Sioux City, said he's never seen Sioux City buried in this much snow and drifts. He estimated it took 4.5 hours for him and his neighbor to clear out their two driveways using a snow blower and shovel.
"We're talking 6-foot drifts and they're just packed solid," he said.
Farendholz said there were 15-foot drifts in the Whispering Creek neighborhood, where Theeler lives.
"You get over in the hills and get on some of those side streets and it's like driving through a tunnel," Theeler said.