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N.E. blizzard of 78

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by makplow, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I just moved back to Mass about 2 month before the blizzard. What a surprise:eek: Any other old timers out there, have any plow stories you want to share? :nod:
  2. digger3700

    digger3700 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 10

    Old timer

    Wow that sure brings back some memories!! I was plowing for the county highway dept. back then. we worked 40 hrs. straight ,went home for 8 and back for another 30 hours.
    In some areas it was literally too much snow for the plows, it had to be cleared by large front end loaders in order for the plows to get through.
    I saw strangers open there homes to motorists that were stranded.fire departments and schools were used as shelters.
    I could go on and on.
  3. mikemac

    mikemac Member
    from ma
    Messages: 31

    my dad said they were plowing the main roads with cat D-6 dozers and spent the next spring replacing all the hydrants they broke.
  4. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    We got our butts kicked in Chicagoland too.
    The neighbors broke trail on our road. Dave the plumber had an old ford loader, he cut threw the drift on our road. Took him about 10 hours to go about 200 yards. 8' drifts. He was struggling cause he had no way to stack over the drift. The Ford was not powerfull enough to push it.
    The other side out was cut with a cat loader crawler (major heavy iron) They still lost traction and had too chop away at it. The neighbor kids (older) were jumping there sleds across the road, pretty cool consider the cat had piles 14 foot high with drifts over that. The road was only 10 foot wide threw the drift so jumpin a snow machine across was no big deal, but awesome to watch from the st. . The county had independents runnin graders to clear the roads. Good thing our neighbors had some equipment or the roads would have been closed for a week. The school roof colapsed and we were off for 2 weeks.
    My bro and I had forts tunneled in the drifts, what a blast. I would love to see a storm like that come bustin threw here again. It would be a wake up to all the accounts that think snow is just a thorn in there side. I will say that the county, and villages have more equipment now then they ever had. Most storms now are cleaned up in a day, 2 at the most. Allthough I would say we get that much again that quick with drifts, things would be jacked up for a few days at least.
  5. sawbones25

    sawbones25 Member
    Messages: 74

    I was only 5, so the only plowing I was doing was on a sled. But I'll never forget that storm. Over 3 feet of snow here in southern Maryland. That's a lot when you're only 3.5 feet tall... I had a couple tunnels dug also.

    I remember a guy in a Jeep trying to make it down the street. A couple wheels sank in and there the Jeep sat for about a week...
  6. Allagash

    Allagash Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I was 8 years old here in RI and did not make it home for 3 days. I was stranded with my parents at a cousins. We got something crazy like 48". I remember being in second grade watching it snow like crazy all morning waiting for my mother to pick me up early from school. She didn't get there early and we never made it home. We eventually walked home 3 days later after the snow had finally stopped.

    Front end loaders were needed to clear the roads and they were not cleared for a solid week. The governer called a state of emergency. I wish we could have another one like that at least once in my adult lifetime to enjoy....
  7. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I was born the tail end of '77, right in the middle of that mess for us.

    I posted a photograph from it on here once before. I think if one did a search for Blizzard of '77 or '78 they would come across it.
  8. Luppy

    Luppy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I wasn't plowing in it as I was only 16 yrs old, but I remember it well. The first day of that storm I went over to my friends house who lives about seven houses down the street...I left to go home at about 10 pm and found myself wading through a couple of feet of snow. A 3 minute walk turned into a 20 minute trudge. We had no school for two weeks after that. The streets were narrow as hell and the snowbanks were colossal. It was great!
    We walked all over our town and through the next town over and I saw some poor ******* walking lose his glasses and then a plow truck came by and smushed them into a big snowbank. My brother who is 9 yrs older was plowing that year and we didn't see him for several days. I think he plowed for like 3 days straight while taking naps in his truck. Then they sent him home for sleep and a shower and he was back out again.
  9. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Rt. 128 a 4 lane hyw. each way was like a huge parking lot with cars standed. They found people dead in there cars, when there were heated office buildings a stones throw away. There were people with there snow mobiles riding on city streets for days after the storm. UNBELIEVABLE
  10. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I was hoping this thread would get more response, but I guess there isn`t too many older guys like myself still plowing. I`m sure they would have alot of interesting stories to tell. It was quite the storm!!!! A HURRICANE IN THE WINTER. :D
  11. Groundmovers

    Groundmovers Member
    from NE CT.
    Messages: 48

    I was young then but my father worked in Providence then and was a Hood Milk trailer driver stuck at the bottling plant. He has Polaroids of payloaders picking up cars and pushing them off the roads so that a front loader behind it could then move the snow.

    He also has pictures of the National Guard hilo's in the parking lot picking up milk to be delivered to the hospitals.
  12. Brookside

    Brookside Member
    Messages: 55

    At the time of the '78 blizzard I was making a delivery from northern New Hampshire to Boston and had to lay over in a motel in Concord, New Hampshire 'till the streets were opened up. It was quite a sight when we were allowed in. My wife was in charge of keeping our 1/2 mile driveway open while I was gone.
  13. Acmemechanic

    Acmemechanic Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    Blizzard of 1978

    I was only 13 Years old at the time. I have many stories to tell though.My father Russ Bryson was the President of R.I.C.O.N.[Rhode Island Club of Nexus] it was a highway assistance club Like the still existent REACT Group.He and his members patrolled the Highways at their own expense and assisted Broken down Motorist and Truckers Via a CB Radio Network.When the Unexpected Blizzard hit Northern Rhode Island My Dad was in New Haven doing his duties as a Paint Salesman.He told me he did 80 MPH in the High Speed lane all the way from CT to Northern R.I. to get home before the roads were impassible.Jenks Junior High School in Pawtucket Was let out at about Noontime.I was unprepared and as I rode the Bus I got ready for a long walk.I looked up and there was my Dads Car Blowing the horn.I got in and we went to my Mothers place of work.Dad told me to go in and get Mom out.When I opened the Door and stepped out and a $50.00 bill blew against my leg and stuck there.I grabbed it and went to get my mother.We all Drove home to Pawtucket.My Dad Immediately got on the CB Channel 19 and started to Coordinate a plan with the other Members.About 15 members with Base Stations were on and responding.I as a Teenager stayed by my dads side for over 40 hrs.Club Members were in 4x4s taking Hospital and Police personnel to work.We also had a network of Snowmobiles-Operating.My Dads Vice-President Mynas Hagopian had a fence in his Backyard that abutted Rt 95 North.He acted as a Emergency Shelter and Received over 50 Needful People into his home.The National Guard in Helicopters Delivered Emergency Food to This Location.Early in the Morning on the Second Day about 2:30 in the morning WE heard the National Guard From Buffalo NY Coming down RT 146 out of Mass And my Dad contacted the Commander and told them that they could Split up and come South on Three Main Highways RT 146,RT 95,RT 295,And Clean up our Little State From North to South .The then head of Emergency Management Santi Amato got on a high Powered Radio and Stated that they were to proceed to the State Airport in Warwick and then Coordinate a plan of Attack.What a waste of time and energy that was.Well I have over 2 Dozen more stories of this particular Storm.If the thread stays alive I will Tell them All.
  14. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    OMG First year in the bizz what a time to start but what a beast i had 74 cj5 with 13 leaf springs front and rear was a trail/race jeep 360ci gumbo mudders. Like ridding 4 wheels and a engine custom 8 point cage and a 18 year old look out. Was working at a construction co. and local jeep dealer needed our big fork truck to unload a load of plows ask the boss to tell them to save me one and they did. Just days before i was in one of the dumps and chased down a guy who had 4 on a trailer to ask where he got them and he said he got the last ones at a dealer and i had contracts :help: So long story short baptism by fire :D
  15. KenG

    KenG Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 100

    I was 5 at the time, but remember it pretty well. My dad plowed then, and I always went with him. It's the first recollection of fear that I have. Absolutely couldn't see anything, and his F250 was having a heck of a time. We got stuck a few times, and that really scared me. I thought we'd never make it home.

    I also remember that a few days later, I got lost in our backyard :dizzy:

    The snow was quite a bit deeper that I was tall.
  16. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I will Never Forget that Storm , But i have Been in Higher Winds W/Snow Off the Coast of Greenland , Courtesy of the U.S.C.G..
    The Apartment Complex I lived in ( in Framingham Ma. ) asked Me if I would be a Back-Up Plow for them ( Three Complexes ) in the event one of there Trucks Broke. They would take it Off My Rent , what a Mistake , There Chev P/U Blew a Tranny . Ford Dump Truck Blew a Motor , and there Dodge P/U lost the Clutch.
    I didn't pay rent for 11 mos.
  17. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

    What do you mean older!! <BFG>

    I was living in Melrose at the time and plowing with a 77 Ford w/fisher. The problem's I remember was getting gas to operate the truck. After the storm it was a ***** to break in from the street, the plow wash was about 10'X10'. We all enjoy plowing but that storm was not fun, especially after 3 day's in the truck.

  18. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    That was my first year plowing , Had a 1969 chevy 3/4 ton stick . Vaulk 8 ft plow with no power angle . I was charging the whopping price of 40 dollars an hour . Made damn good money that year , I was hooked .
  19. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    Hey don't you still have that truck. I sure do remember seeing in sitting in your yard. :rolleyes:
  20. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    Wish I did still have that old 69 I still have the blade off it , we hang it on the backhoe