In a few weeks, it will be 32 years since the Blizzard of '78 hit Ohio. I'll sure anyone who was alive during that time will never forget it. That storm became the benchmark for all subsequent winter storms.
According to this page on the ohiohistory.org website, it was the worst winter storm in Ohio history. It hit early on Thursday, January 26 and lasted into Friday. Governor James Rhodes declared a statewide emergency, enabling him to activate the National Guard.
The January 26th edition of the Journal shown above (it was still an evening paper back then) included a detailed account of the storm by staff writer Carrie Yakley. Winds up to 75 miles per hour caused a lot of damage to power lines, leaving many areas without electric power or heat. Drifting snow and ice caused many roads to be closed, including the westbound lanes of the Ohio Turnpike at Exit 8, the Shoreway in Cleveland, and I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus.
Big events like the storm inevitably lead to "Where were you?" thoughts. Since I was away at school at the time, the local angle of the storm covered on the front page was all new to me.
To read an article about the storm on the Kent State website, click here.
Well, as best as I can remember, I was working at McD's on West Erie at the time (i cringe at the thought of ever working there) and I was called in to possibly work. Well, I got there. There was a manager, myself and one other crew member. I think during that 6 hour period I was there...2 people stopped in. I know we went out to the back of the store for a snowball fight.
Last year here in Seattle ( I live 15 miles north in Kenmore...in the "convergence zone) we have snow every day for 2 weeks during X-mas/New Years. No electricity for 9 days. Kind of fun, but by the 5th day or so it got annoying!!
I was only ten when the blizzard hit in Lorain, Ohio. Wow, I remember walking to the corner store with my older sister, I was worried that my short little legs weren't going to make it home, but did and ended up in the house for the next three days, going nowhere!! I hated the snow but loved the time I spent with my sister.
I was in my twenties working the night shift at the Avon Lake Ford plant. I had just got off work at 6:00am and was heading back to Elyria where I lived at the time. When I left the plant everything was quiet outside. Someone at work had mention during the night that there was a storm with 75 mile per hour winds coming.
When I left the plant that early morning I could hardly believe that could be true.
As I got on Rt.2 going to Elyria the storm hit. IT was a wall of blowing snow so hard I couldn't tell where the road was. It was literally a white hurricane! I was afraid I was going over the Black Creek reservation bridge because I couldn't see an inch in front of me. I finally made it home, but I must have an angel looking out for me.
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