'Snow baby' remembers blizzard of '66

Fifty years after the blizzard of '66, Glen Herbstreit's friends are still calling him, 'Snow baby.'

Glen Herbstreit was delivered by policemen in his parents' bedroom when they couldn't get to the hospital

Fifty years after the blizzard of '66, Glen Herbstrite's friends are still calling him, 'Snow baby.' 3:01

Fifty years after the blizzard of '66, Glen Herbstreit's friends are still calling him, 'Snow baby.'

That's because Herbstreit was born on March 4, 1966. His mother, suitcase in hand, was ready to go to the hospital for the delivery, but the blizzard made that impossible. Hence, the name.

"Most people that know about it, they always tease me about it and talk about it. They say, 'Hey, good for you,'" he said, laughing.

Herbstreit's father, Helmut, remembers the day clearly. At the time, he worked downtown at the Winnipeg Free Press building. While at work, he got a call from his sister-in-law, who lived upstairs in their home on Winnipeg's Lansdowne Avenue 

"She said, 'It's time to go. You better come home,'" he said.

"I got to Parr Street and Inkster and my car stalled and I had to walk another block."
Glen Herbstreit was born on the night of a blizzard in 1966 and his friends still call him, 'Snow baby.' (CBC)

When he got there, his wife was ready to leave.

"My wife, she was sitting in the living room with her suitcase, ready to go so I phoned for an ambulance and I was outside shovelling snow back and forth from the house to the street and I'd have to shovel myself back again," he said, noting snowbanks were three or four feet high.

Winnipeg got hit with about 38 centimetres (15 inches) of snow that night, the second largest single-day snowfall on record for the city. About 72 centimetres fell just to the south in Grand Forks.

When the ambulance did not arrive in around half an hour, he called again.

"I said to the policeman, I says, 'Look you guys, if you think this is a joke you've got another thing coming,'" he said.

"About three quarters of an hour, I looked down Lansdowne, I was shovelling, and I see a …police car with three policemen in there."

The officers got to the home on foot, took his wife to the bedroom and delivered Herbstreit there.

"About three blocks down the street, they contacted a doctor," Helmut said.

"And they brought the doctor here. It took about half an hour to get him to my house."

Herbstreit said he is excited to celebrate his 50th birthday this weekend, just as long as it's not snowing too much.


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