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31 years ago today!

Discussion in 'Weather' started by lawn king, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    For those of you old enough to remember, the blizzard of 78. I was 16, that 2 day storm shut down the northeast for a week!
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I remember reading about it. I was in southern Louisiana (Ft Polk). That was the first winter people there could remember getting snow. People froze to death in their homes because some homes had NO heating system. Natives to Louisiana didn't know how to drive on snow and many slid off the road, especially on curves which aren't banked there.
  3. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Its going to be near 50 here today and tomorrow, I would think you would be fertilizing lawns and starting spring cleanups already Lawn King. I mean weren't you saying that around this time last year?
  4. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239


    i can remember my older sister being pissed because she had to spend all day in study hall when she was brought to school from blue grass iowa to davenport in a 1940 1/2 chevy truck .hardly any body else made it in ,the snow was piled as high as the loader's could get .on a two lane highway ,that was brought down to a single lane .:realmad:
  5. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I remember it, was working for the local phone co. at the time. We spent the next few days working around the clock putting up wires and restoring service..
    Grand old time.
  6. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    What doe's this post have to do with the blizzard of 78? Am i missing something her'e?
  7. WingPlow

    WingPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 634

    where we used to live, it blew pretty bad in the winter...the night it started snowing, we went to bed
    when we woke up the next day and opened the curtains on the front windows, you couldnt see anything, and i mean anything, every window on the front of the house was blocked by snow, we thought for a couple minutes that we were completely buried
    when we went to the back door and opened it, we found the back yard nearly snow free, in fact we could see grass in places....funny how the wind does things
    our road was closed for close to 3 days till they brought a D-8 in to open it up
  8. Herm Witte

    Herm Witte Senior Member
    Messages: 595

    My mom just gave me some old newspaper clippings from that storm and this thread brings back some memories. 31 years ago I was a 24 year old young entrepenuer and just had taken over managing the family firm. 1/2 ton 4 x 4 short bed pick ups were the main vehicles used in many snowplow operations in our area. They got stuck all the time. Our best vehicle was a 3/4 T 4 x 4 pick up with a heavy Meyers Husky snow plow and narrow mud and snow bias ply tires - went through anything. A few things come to mind, 1) we held off plowing parking lots and residential driveways until the streets were actually cleared, 2) The wind was pretty relentless - several trips were made to keep our accounts clean even though the snow had actually subsided, 3) Grand Rapids and West Mi was pretty much shut down for the better part of a week if not an entire week, and finally 4) Mark Oomkes dad had the right idea - he contracted with a front end loader or loaders and watched them do the work - much more efficient. Equipment, reliability of equipment, and types of equipment used have come a long way in thirty one years. Although a storm of that magnitude would slow things down, I don't believe it would paralyze us to the degree that the "Blizzard of 78" did.

    Herm Witte

    Witte Lawn Maintenance, Inc.

    Serving West Michigan since 1957.

  9. snow game

    snow game Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 255

    I Saw this post the other day but didn't have a chance to respond. I was in the fifth grade the year this blizzard hit New England. We actually had school that day, because the metorologist didn't know it was going to hit (not much has changed there). My brothers had just started our business that year. They had one 1967 Intenational Harvester Scout with a Fisher Plow. We were the only street in our neighborhood that was partially plowed. The Gov. of RI called in the National Gaurd who plowed our street with a D-8 days after. They were dumping cars off the higway with loaders to make room and i95 was closed to all traffic. My brothers had a pass to drive on the 95 because my sister was a nurse and the hospital caught wind of her brothers having a truck that could move patients through the snow. They were transporting people home from the hospital, they had a permit to drive on 95. There was only one side of the highway opened in some areas, so there was south and north bound traffic on one side of the interstate. I was out shoveling. I hate to admit it, but we were actually shoveling 80' driveways for $20.00. We have been moving snow ever since, don't know if we could keep up with a storm like that one again. We had several people staying at our house because they were stranded. Several family members couldn't make it home, local stores ran out of milk and bread, and since that storm the markets have been a mad house any time big storm is in the forecast.
  10. Oshkosh

    Oshkosh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,655


    Pretty much paralyzed the New England states...
    I remember the police in my town patrolling on snowmobiles.One had a 71 Ski-Doo Nordic 399 and the other was on a 73 Mercury 440 sled.They pretty much enlisted anyone with a sled to help with calls etc...
    I was 13 and bought my first sled that spring...


  11. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    I was a lad then, lots of sledding and Boones farm wine.
  12. bare spot

    bare spot Junior Member
    from nepa.
    Messages: 18

    i'm trying to remember this blizzard in pa, not sure how hard we got hit, i'm sure we got something from it. the one thing that does stick out,that i could remember (from that winter) was some reason getting hit by a few big storms in a row that yr.(think they were a few days to a wk apart) with one of them poss. being part of this blizzard, making for some already impressive snow totals in the area, idk, that;s all i could remember, lots of snow falling that yr.. anyway they were some nice pictures, had some good times back then.
  13. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    I have never to this day seen drifts like that! It was like mother nature was laughing at us saying how do ya like them apples. There are a couple books out now full of great pictures available at borders & barnes & noble.
  14. pldann86

    pldann86 Member
    from LI NY
    Messages: 72

    I remember having one weekoff from school ,they brought out a cat earth mover to pack down
    the roads so emergency vech could get through The snow just came down so hard and ,every
    once in awhile you would here thunder..Ah the good old days
    I need one more like that before I kick the bucket:dizzy:
  15. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    With as many plows out there now does anyone think a storm like this would shut the North east down for a week? I don't think so.
  16. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    Snow removal is now a far different business, plows,pushers,hydraulic equipment and chemicals have come a long way in 3 decades. If the same storm hit tomorrow it would not shut as down for a full week, but im willing to bet it would bogg us down for 3 or 4 days. Pictures and stories are great but you really had to be there and see it first hand to appreciate the magnitude of this blizzard!