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post #1 of 22 Old 01-19-2019, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Your blizzard story

As a kid in Ohio I woke up one morning 1978 and there was about a foot of snow in our kitchen we went to bed it was just raining. apparently there was a slight hole in her kitchen and the driving 60 miles an hour winds push the snow run into our kitchen. I don't remember any talk of any blizzard the night before but then again I was a kid. We used wood heat so it didn't matter that we had no power; we were fine many people were not.

we happened to be one of the few families back then that had snowmobiles so my dad and my brother went around helping people out of their homes we had snow drifts the size of a building shutting down road so people couldn't get out.

And though I didn't know my current wife then she was telling me her story about her dad being a farmer and go around getting people out of their homes on tractors.

today at work a lady and I were reminiscing about it and she told me they had 50 horses that they were boarding but she had to get them water through that blizzard couldn't hardly get into the barn. there was no power and she said she had to keep going around breaking ice constantly for horses to get water

What's your story of your blizzard?

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post #2 of 22 Old 01-19-2019, 08:14 AM
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Re: Your blizzard story

Blizzard of 66, Syracuse NY.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-19-2019, 09:14 AM
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Re: Your blizzard story

As a youth in Wisconsin, many many years ago, it seemed that the snow was always way over my head. Of course, I was somewhat vertically challenged then. With the Italian Alpini in 1977 for winter survival training & ski school, we had several blizzards that dumped lots of snow in the Italian Alps.
But the one, or actually two blizzards that occurred the last two weeks of 2006 in Denver, CO was likely the worst! Two storms dumping over 30 inches each along with minor snows before and after completely shut down the city. At that time, Denver ONLY plowed the snow routes, but there was virtually no traffic because all the other streets had 6 feet of unplowed snow on them. Was quite funny watching all the 4X4 SUVs going nowhere.

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post #4 of 22 Old 01-19-2019, 09:21 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

The "other" Blizzard of '78 occurred in the North East February 6&7 during the highest astronomical tides. I missed it's worst wrath as I was on the Maine coast, 100 miles from the center of the low. Still, the damage was tremendous and I remember helping carry children to safety from flooded homes on the shore (we were a bunch of college kids just happy to help). I remember the most beautiful home on Biddeford Pool was called the periscope house because of the unique third floor overlook. The storm blew the sliding doors out of the first floor and it had 3 feet of sand inside.

My wife was in the thick of it in Providence, RI. Nearby Woonsocket had 54" of snow over 3 days with howling winds. On one side of her house the wind scoured the snow away to bare ground. On the other they opened the second story window and slid down a snowdrift to the ground. It took 3 weeks before the National Guard cleared their street.


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post #5 of 22 Old 01-19-2019, 09:28 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

I was in college in Clarion, PA when the blizzard of 1978 hit. We had 4 and 5 ft. drifts everywhere and cars were completely covered. Once they got the sidewalks down to only an inch or so of snow they became "toboggan runs" using trays from the cafeteria. Stupid fun whizzing down the hill completely out of control on a tray!

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 04:37 AM
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Re: Your blizzard story

I was in the lower mainland of BC (I was in Burnaby in particular, but it was the for the whole area), when we got maybe a foot of snow over a couple of days, and basically the whole area shut down. Buses/cars/trucks couldn't move, it even took them awhile for them to get the SkyTrain working again. They had no snow clearing budget or equipment, so it took them awhile to figure out how to get the roads cleared...

I'm from Edmonton, so it seemed rather pathetic to me...
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
The "other" Blizzard of '78 occurred in the North East February 6&7 during the highest astronomical tides. I missed it's worst wrath as I was on the Maine coast, 100 miles from the center of the low. Still, the damage was tremendous and I remember helping carry children to safety from flooded homes on the shore (we were a bunch of college kids just happy to help). I remember the most beautiful home on Biddeford Pool was called the periscope house because of the unique third floor overlook. The storm blew the sliding doors out of the first floor and it had 3 feet of sand inside.

My wife was in the thick of it in Providence, RI. Nearby Woonsocket had 54" of snow over 3 days with howling winds. On one side of her house the wind scoured the snow away to bare ground. On the other they opened the second story window and slid down a snowdrift to the ground. It took 3 weeks before the National Guard cleared their street.
I can't even get my mind around what it would be like to get 54 inches of snow that's insane; and windy on top of that would be crazy. Yes I remember being able to see grass in some spots and then there would be a drift as big as our barn.

That is why the cape cod roof pitch exist.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

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post #8 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 08:28 AM
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Re: Your blizzard story

I grew up on the prairie in southwest Mn. Many many times there were drifts 10-15 feet high. Sometimes higher. Sometimes it would be 2 or 3 days without being able to see out a window. Thats sure some windy country. The fields would be swept bare, and every farmyard would have drifts up to the rooflines at times.
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 10:04 AM
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Re: Your blizzard story

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
The "other" Blizzard of '78 occurred in the North East February 6&7 during the highest astronomical tides. I missed it's worst wrath as I was on the Maine coast, 100 miles from the center of the low. Still, the damage was tremendous and I remember helping carry children to safety from flooded homes on the shore (we were a bunch of college kids just happy to help). I remember the most beautiful home on Biddeford Pool was called the periscope house because of the unique third floor overlook. The storm blew the sliding doors out of the first floor and it had 3 feet of sand inside.

My wife was in the thick of it in Providence, RI. Nearby Woonsocket had 54" of snow over 3 days with howling winds. On one side of her house the wind scoured the snow away to bare ground. On the other they opened the second story window and slid down a snowdrift to the ground. It took 3 weeks before the National Guard cleared their street.
Remember that storm quite well, we were on our senior class trip in high school at a ski resort in the Catskills Mountains in southeastern New York. Snowed so much the night before and conditions were so bad at the top of the mountain we couldn't even get to the top of the mountain to ski.

Even walking out of the resort was a huge task, snow was higher then the top of our heads. They had guys with walk behind snowblowers trying to clear the sidewalks, it was a fruitless task for sure.
Road conditions were so bad around the resort we got an extra days stay for free. I have never seen snow like that since.

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post #10 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 12:12 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

In 1978 I was a municipal police officer when we got hit with an official blizzard known as "Storm Larry" in New England.

In cleanup over the next few days, I worked at the front of a column of tow trucks clearing cars from the streets. The lead tow truck would hook up to a buried car, tow it out to a municipal parking lot, and then the next tow truck would pull forward for the next car. Local residents could claim their cars at the lot once the streets were clear.

We were doing this all night, and at about 3:00 AM a little old lady came out of her house in slippers and a bathrobe. She had made me a cup of tea in her finest china. It was white porcelain with red roses on the cup and saucer. I thanked her several times, and drank my tea. It was really good tea. Cal

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post #11 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 01:10 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

I was 20 years old when the blizzard of '78 hit MA..

I was living in Taunton MA,one of the areas that got walloped with at least 36" of wet cement snow,60+ mph winds,over a 3 day period..Taunton is about 30 miles from Woonsocket RI and 25 from Providence,and 15 miles from Plymouth MA,to give you an idea of its location..

I was at a friends house in Fall River MA ,that is on the south coast,15 miles south of Taunton,when it began snowing..
I had a 1956 Chevy 3100 pickup truck at the time..235 straight six,three on the tree,and only 2wd..it was not that great in snow!..

My friends dad came out and told us I had better think about heading home,the snow was piling up very quickly,and I'd likely have to take the back roads ,because the highway was already blocked by several crashes involving tractor trailer !..

He said he had some tire chains I could have--a guy who hired him to do some brick laying work stiffed him,ended up "paying" him by giving him a huge cardboard barrel full of brand new tire chains in burlap sacks that he claimed were worth much more than the amount he was supposed to pay in cash..

I drove my truck into his garage and we found a pair that fit my tires,had to shorten them up a bit..my tires were old bias ply snow treads,they had deep tread but were hard as iron,so they were not the greatest for traction in snow.

By the time we got the chains on and tightened up ,there was 6" of snow on the ground,it took only an hour to install them..I took a box of "Monkey Links" with me in case a chain broke on my ride home..
It took me almost 2-1/2 hours to go the 15 miles home!..top speed was about 10 mph in second gear,and I got stuck behind many vehicles that slid into the ditches and blocked the road,but I managed to get around them all...one street I had to take has a short steep hill,I had to back up twice and make a run at it to get to the top,my truck was sliding sideways all the way up..

When I got home,I made a stupid move..instead of parking the truck right near the street at the end of the driveway,facing the street--I pulled it all the way in to the far end of the driveway,facing IN..this proved to be a very dumb move!..

After the storm started dying down 3 days later,all I could see of my truck was the roof,from the door handles up..the bed & hood were buried under a huge drift--and the depth of the snow was that deep all the way to the end of the driveway,110 feet to the street..

A week long "driving ban" was put in effect by the govenor,so no one was going anywhere anyways..then city officials began asking for anyone with a 4x4 or snowmobile to volunteer to help rescue people,deliver food & medicines,and check on elderly residents..

My friend from Fall River had two snowmobiles,a Rupp 440,and an old Ski-Doo one lunger..he was among many that helped the police and fire dept deliver goods and run errands for people..another friend used the Ski-Doo also..

Four days after the storm ended ,the state was still buried and digging out--thousands of abandoned cars were left on Rt.128,making a hopeless mess as far as any plows being able to clear the highway..they had to have the National Guard come with 6x6 military trucks and front end loaders and bull dozers to rescue stranded motorists and move one car at a time to clear the roads!..most of the streets in my town had to be cleared with dozers ,even road graders were unable to move the deep drifts..
They also had Walter Snowfighters come from RI and Boston's Logan airport to clear the biggest drifts...many buried cars got chewed up!--they were invisible under the snow..

I went with my friends on their snowmobiles to do more deliveries--they actually drove them right up Rt.24 from Fall River to my house,15 miles away,and we went back there using the same route..we were able to drive right over buried cars,all you could see was radio antennas poking up thru the drifts,to tell where a car was!..there were a lot of tractor trailers stuck too,some jack knifed and blocked both lanes,making snow removal a very tough chore too..some motorists spent days in their cars waiting to be rescued..

My friends and I made a lot of "bread & milk" runs for people,and we delivered a lot of prescriptions to elderly projects in Fall River...the only store that had any food left was 15 miles away near New Bedford,and finding gasoline was tough,most of the stations had no power,and the pumps were useless..luckily we were able to get some from people who had some stashed away for their snowblowers,and the police let us fill up at the town DPW garage ,where they gassed up the cruisers..we even siphoned gas from some abandoned cars,having no choice too!..

My dad worked for a local LNG & natural gas company,and the day the storm hit,he was driving a C-60 Chevy 2 ton bucket truck with an air compressor in tow--he was headed to Springfield MA,where the compressor was needed badly--he only made it as far as Framingham MA,about 70 miles from Springfield,Rt.128 was blocked hopelessly by stuck tractor trailers and cars--he had to stay in the truck for 36 hours before a 6x6 troop carrier finally was able to reach the area and take him to a hotel 10 miles away--where he had to stay for 4 days,until the roads had been opened up to one lane and the driving ban was lifted..

It took me and 3 of my neighbors to shovel the end of the driveway out--the dozers had left piles of snow over 6 feet high along both sides of the street,and the pile extended about 25 feet into the driveway..we spent 2 whole days shoveling,and the area we finally cleared was barely far enough into the driveway for my dad's station wagon that he usually drove for a company car,to park,without the back bumper sticking out into the street!..

He tried having the gas company come plow the driveway with another C-60 bucket truck,but it only made it about 35 feet past where we shoveled before the snow piled up in front of it deep enough to stop it--it had chains on the rear dual wheels,and the driver spun the tires trying to back it out--they dug deep divots in the driveway--40 years later,they are still there!...

That left my truck even more hopelessly buried--now I had a pile of snow as long and tall as the truck I'd have to move in order to free it...my dad ended up hiring the contractor who built the house,to come with a front end loader to clear the driveway..

That blizzard still remains "the" one that tops all the others we've had since..

Though we have had a few that dumped as much or more snow,in less hours time,the combination of hurricane force winds,a full moon high tide,and the long duration,all added up to the most destructive storm MA had ever seen in our lifetimes..

Nearly 100 people died,and dozens of homes along the east coast were washed away,or badly damaged,and there was incredible flooding..ever since that storm,everyone makes a mad dash to the grocery and liquor stores to "stock up" ..wood stoves made a strong comeback after that storm too--many of those who perished froze to death,or drowned ,some in their own homes..


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post #12 of 22 Old 01-20-2019, 01:16 PM
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-21-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Incredible. It makes the Ohio storm look pathetic. Everybody still runs for groceries though

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-21-2019, 02:35 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

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Incredible. It makes the Ohio storm look pathetic. Everybody still runs for groceries though
Keep in mind many of those pictures were taken after the storm ended,after winds had blown much of the snow away from the stranded vehicles--or some had been cleared away by the motorists while they were awaiting rescue..

Also,most of the pictures were taken in areas north of where I lived,that did not get as much snow as we did!--the last photo of the snowfall amounts map ,if you look closely,shows two red dots,which was where over 3 feet fell,Woonsocket RI had 54" fall,and the snow down this way was very wet sticky stuff--further north it was powdery and more fluffy..the area I was in got 3+ feet with drifts much deeper..some people had to climb out second story windows to get out of their homes..

My house had all its doors drifted in so high you couldn't open them..
I had to leap out a window into a drift and get the shovels out of the shed--good thing the door on the shed opened "inward" or I'd have not been able to get into it..so much snow went inside it,we couldn't close the door until weeks later,when enough had melted that we could shovel it..

The highway I mentioned (Rt.24,that runs from just south of Boston to Fall River and RI),had drifts over 8 feet high--you could only see a few cars roofs,where the wind had blown some snow away--the rest were 2 feet or more under,completely buried..some people died in those cars!..

Those photos of cars on Rt.128 and 290 don't show how bad it was in this area..winds recorded at hurricane force or higher were noted at the Blue Hills Observatory about 15 miles north of my area..and they lasted most of two days out of the three the storm lingered too..

I recall us having a close call when we came upon a box truck on Rt.24 that was drifted over high enough that the cab was not visible--and the box was white--we almost drove the snowmobiles right into it--luckily my friend who was ahead of me spotted some marker lamps on the top edge of the box and stopped just in time!....a guy we knew was killed when he drove his snowmobile over a highway median,that had a open pit type opening,that went 50 feet down to another road below too..


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post #15 of 22 Old 01-21-2019, 02:36 PM
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Re: Your blizzard story

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Incredible. It makes the Ohio storm look pathetic. Everybody still runs for groceries though
The run on groceries happens every time they predict "anything out of the ordinary" weather event. If it is NOT sunny and somewhat warm anything else is a catastrophe with all kinds of dire predictions. Granted, many people living in & near cities, purchase their groceries on an almost daily basis. So that means they usually have nothing in the pantry. Quite sad, really, to have so many people living in a constant state of fear. What is even more odd is the number of people that feel not having a motor vehicle is an absolute disaster. I lived for 13 years with a bicycle as my sole means of transportation(1999-2012). If the weather turned nasty with snow and other, I walked.
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