During the last two weeks, I’ve posted a few Journal
articles from the winter of 1968, which was a pretty bad one.
The winter of 1963 was no slouch either.
Read all about it in the two articles below, which appeared on the front page of the Lorain Journal
on Jan. 24, 1963 – 55 years ago today.
The first article explains how National Tube and the Ford Assembly plant had to shut down to conserve gas for use by home customers. The second article reports on the bone-chilling temperatures, as well as the absentee rates in the various local schools. (I wonder if the Journal
still posts that kind of thing when schools stay open in bad weather?)
I wish I could say that I remembered this 1963 snow storm, but I was only a month short of being four years old. I was probably too busy watching cartoons.
Cold Forces Shutdown At
Steel Mill, Ford Plant
To Provide More
Gas For Homes
By JACK LAVRIHA
Bitter cold temperatures which may set new all-time records in Lorain today began to be felt in Lorain’s industrial plants.
The cold weather forced the closing of two mills at the National Tube Division, Lorain Works, and brought the announcement that three-fourths of the operations at Lorain Assembly Plant of Ford Motor Co. will be closed down Friday and Saturday.
Both plants reported the curtailed operations because of compliance with a request from Ohio Fuel Gas Co. to reduce their use of natural gas by 50 percent so that there will be more gas available for home customers.
intense cold broke a number of Ohio Edison Co. lines in Lorain County and surrounding areas to knock out power to homes and businesses Wednesday night and early today.
Lorain Works, the largest gas user in Lorain County, shut down its No. 2 seamless and continuous buttweld mills at 7 a. m. today. Several hundred workers are affected.
A U. S. Steel spokesman said that everything possible was being done throughout other areas of the steel plant to conserve natural gas.
A Ford spokesman
said that the cutback in gas at Lorain Assembly Plant will go into effect at midnight and that the passenger car lines, employing more than 3,000, will be down Friday and Saturday.
The commercial line will work Friday but will be down Saturday, which will close all assembly operations.
About 250 workers at Cleveland Quarries Co. are out of work as the result of the cold. The quarry closed Tuesday but because of the increased cold weather, it was decided to not resume work until Monday, according to a plant spokesman.
manager of the Lake Erie Division of Ohio Edison Co., said today the intense cold caused copper wires to shorten and break in some areas.
Several hundred customers in the South Amherst area along 113 and east of Rt. 58 were without electricity for about 35 minutes Wednesday night. The wire breaks were reported at 10:45 p. m.
Vidal said that 50 of the customers were without power for three hours and 15 minutes.
In the Elyria area along Rt. 20 in the east side, including the Ridgeville Shopping Center, 20 customers were without power for more than two hours. The Shopping Center was without power for an hour.
At 12:05 a. m. today, a power line broke on Rt. 57 at LaPorte to knock out service to some 50 customers for three hours.
Vidal said that at Olena near Norwalk lines were down to interrupt the flow of power for four hours to 20 customers. The power went out at about 10:30 p. m. Wednesday night.
“Everything is under control and power is being restored as quickly as possible after reports are received on lines being down,” said Vidal.
Considerable absenteeism was reported in the Lorain area because workers could not get their cars started this morning.
The passenger and commercial lines at the Ford plant were delayed for one hour because of the lack of men on the job because of the cold weather.
A Ford spokesman said the maintenance crews were kept on overtime to help workers get their cars started to return to their homes Wednesday night.
L. P. McIntire,
manager of the Lorain office of Ohio Fuel Gas Co., said, “Another milestone is being attained by the company in gas distribution. Large industrial users of gas are cooperating by cutting gas consumption by 50 per cent so that home customers are assured of sufficient gas.”
He said the company records show that this winter had been 10.1 per cent colder than a normal winter before the record-breaking cold hit during the night.
The Lorain yards of American Ship Building Co. today was forced to operate with 165 fewer men who failed to show up because of the intense cold weather.
Temperature Dips to -19
In Official Oberlin Mark
Lorainites today were promised a slight warming trend as a record-topping cold wave brought a low of 19 degrees below zero to Lorain County.
While the -19 figure was the lowest figure recorded here in many years, it was not a record. The U.S. Weather Bureau at Cleveland Hopkins Airport said that the low for the county is -23 and was recorded at Oberlin. Records did not show the year of the recording, however.
The low temperature predicted for tonight was 0-10 below.
Donald T. Jameson of Oberlin, official U.S. weather observer for Lorain County, said he recorded a low of 19 degrees below zero from midnight until 5:30 a.m. today.
In Lorain, the Water Works reported a low of -14 for the night. The lab reported -14 degrees at 11 p.m. Wednesday. The mercury reached -13 at 4 a.m. today where it remained until 1 a.m. when -10 was recorded.
Lorain recorded its first fatality as a result of the weather. Paul H. Hofecker, 59, died in front of his residence, 1142 W. 30th St. while shoveling snow. He was dead on arrival at 11:13 a.m.
Cleveland – among other cities – also reported cracked weather records, with the mercury descending to an all-time low of 19 below zero in that city.
Other low temperatures throughout Ohio included: Akron-Canton, 21 below; Dayton, 19 below; Marietta, 14 below; Toledo and Youngstown, 17 below, and Cincinnati, 19 below.
Dr. John Evans,
superintendent of Lorain schools, said this morning that the administration will consider the possibility of closing the schools Friday if conditions, such as absence and transportation problems warrant it.
N. L. Sutherland, director of pupil accounting, said that the absence rate was high across the city.
At Lorain High School, according to R. J. Holder, principal, 25 per cent of the student body was absent, but all teachers were present.
Dr. Joseph Calta,
principal of Admiral King High School, reported all teachers in, but 771 students out of 2, 361 absent.
A spot check at schools across the city revealed 50 per cent of the student body at Whittier Junior High School absent, 149 out of 478 missing from Longfellow Junior High and at Masson Elementary School 37 per cent of the student body absent.
E. M. McCaskey, business manager, said this morning that generally speaking most of the buildings were in good shape as far as heating was concerned.
according to C. A. Gibbens, superintendent, “were hit rather bad.” Only three districts out of the 10 were in operation. They are Avon Lake, Clearview and South Amherst.
Clearview schools reported 30 per cent absentees this morning and students at Avon schools were sent home at 10 a. m. due to lack of teachers.