Winter has finally come to a close and we were lucky, all in all.

The snow fell heavily at times causing school delays and closures -- and even a few accidents, but nothing we couldn't handle.

Considering we live in the Tri-Cities "desert," mild winters should be the norm, but once in a while we get a heavy storm and find ourselves completely unprepared for it.

Historians of the Mid-Columbia say Richland and Kennewick began as cattle towns but the infrequent heavy winters killed all the herds.

Corene Hulse of the East Benton County Historical Society found these photos of three particularly tough winters in 1949, 1978 and 1980.