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37th Anniversary of Frozen Ohio River

CINCINNATI (Scott Dimmich) -- Saturday marks the 37th anniversary of the coldest morning on record in the Queen City.

Do you remember seeing the Cincinnati skyscrapers perspiring in the arctic air?  The high temperature was 0, the low was 25 below zero, and there was 9 inches of snow on the ground.

Mark Clark, who walked across the Ohio River 37 years ago, said, "What do you say about 25 below zero unless you've been to Minnesota.  It was cold.  It was brutal.  It was very bad.  And we still had wind at that point.  So the wind chill was just as bad.  It was just terrible."

But despite the brutal cold, many in the tri-state flocked to the Ohio River to see a sight they had never seen before on January 18th, 1977.

Diane Braden was there, "We put our three old year in the car, and went on down to the river.  Sure enough there were people walking across the river like a sidewalk.  And I thought oh, that's cool, I want to do that."

Kathy Boutiere said, "It was just unbelievable.  There were just so many people out on the ice.  And it wasn't flat ice.  It was big chunks so you had to walk carefully."

The evening edition of the Cincinnati Post on January 18th, 1977 read, "Sure 25 below is cold, but we can get through it."  The night before we dropped to 24 below zero.  And going through January 1977 in the Queen City meant going through the coldest and snowiest January on record.

Some went to the river to play. Others went to watch.  All along the river were looking make a memory of a lifetime.

Kathy Boutiere continues, "The hill coming down from Riverfront Stadium was all frozen so people were sliding down the hill onto the ice.  It was just really different.  It was like being an ice amusement park."

Diane Braden said, "I feel good to have been a part of history.  It is history.  How many rivers freeze over?  It was very interesting.  Something I'll never probably see again. I hope.  I never want to see that again!"




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