Flashback: Walking on frozen Ohio River - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Flashback: Walking on frozen Ohio River

(Photo from Steve Horstmeyer, 1977) (Photo from Steve Horstmeyer, 1977)
CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

It's a sight that only lifelong Cincinnati residents can recall: Dozens of people walking across the frozen Ohio River. 

This rare weather event hasn't happened since 1977 and Wednesday, January 18 marks 40 years since FOX19 NOW's Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer captured it on camera. 

MOBILE USERS: Click here to see the photos

January of 1977 saw average temperatures of 12 degrees. During the entire month, temperatures only climbed above freezing for a total of six hours. 

In 1977, the Ohio River actually froze twice in Cincinnati. The river was solid for six days from Jan. 18-23 and nine days from Jan. 30 - Feb. 7. The two frozen periods were separated by a week with slightly warmer temperatures. During this ‘warm' period, the ice broke up but did not clear out.

The river has only frozen twice since the Meldahl Dam and the Markland Dam opened in the 1960s.

The longest stretches the Ohio River has been frozen over in Cincinnati:

16 Days: Jan. 25 – Feb. 9, 1940

15 Days: Jan. 14 –28, 1893

14 Days: Feb. 10 -23, 1895

12 Days: Feb. 1 - 12, 1948

10 Days: Jan. 4 - 13, 1879

9 Days: Dec. 30, 1880 – Jan. 7, 1881

9 Days: Feb. 2 - 10, 1905

9 Days: Jan. 5 - 13, 1940

9 Days: Jan. 30 – Feb. 7, 1977

6 Days: Dec. 29,1909 – Jan. 3,1910

6 Days: Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, 1963

6 Days: Jan. 18 - Jan. 23, 1977

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