Just two days before Christmas , 2004, an Arctic storm system bore down on the Ohio valley, dropping nearly 40 inches of snow on some parts of the Midwest in about 30 hours. In some parts of Indiana , snow fell at a rate of 4 inches per hour.
Leaving behind the most significant snowfall ever in parts of southern Illinois , the 2004 pre-Christmas storm resulted in over 100,000 car accidents and over a million people left without power in frigid temperatures. The southern edge of the storm left an inch of solid ice on some Kentucky roadways and buildings, resulting in some roof collapses. Interstate 64 was closed for three days, with just one lane open for Christmas Day travel. As a result, some local businesses in affected areas lost 80 percent of expected Christmas sales.