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Your memories: The Blizzard of '78 - Part III

1:40 AM, Jan 26, 2008   |    comments
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Mark said... At OSU at the time. Day started out in the 40s and rainy. By the time the storm had passed through, people were cross country skiing down High Street. January 25, 2008 6:56 AM Redefinitior said... I delivered The Cleveland Press to my entire route. It was the only time my Dad insisted on helping me by driving the bulk of the papers in our 1969 Olds 98. We both thought it was a great adventure. January 25, 2008 7:54 AM RAV0616 said... I was 11 yrs old in '78 what fun ! My 2 younger sisters and I were so excited that our dad was home during the day and he was able to play board games with us ! Our baby sister was 9 months old and Dad had to drag our sled to the corner Pick-N-Pay to get formula and other food items while our mother was pacing and praying until he returned. January 25, 2008 8:32 AM grace4all51 said... As newlyweds, my husband and I were living in a two bedroom apartment that was located on the far western end of the complex, near an open field. Not needing the 2nd bedroom, we had closed it off to save energy. After the storm, we looked in there, just to make sure everything was ok. We were astonished to see that there were icicles hanging from the corner of the ceiling--on the INSIDE of the room! Now, that's cold! January 25, 2008 1:31 PM Cold in Cleveland said... I was working full time at a dime store at Cedar Center in University Heights. My dad had to go to work that morning so he drove me to Cork & Lenny's which was across the street from where I worked. When it was time to start work I ran across Cedar, around the back of the building and found that the wind had blown in one of the windows. Needless to say, my boss was shocked to see me. By 10:00 we had only had 1 customer so the company decided to close the store for the day. Problem was, I couldn't get home. It took a friends' father 2 hours to drive 3 streets to get me. What an adventure that was! I've sinced learned, it's better to stay at home in blizzards- work will always be there the next day! January 25, 2008 2:49 PM Linda said... I was working as a DJ in Lorain, Ohio (WZLE). I arrived at work at 8:00a.m. and ended up being on the air until midnight. I stayed at the station overnight and tried to get some sleep in the production room. I was all alone. I signed the station back on at 5:30a.m. the next morning. At 10:00a.m., one of the owners arrived and took me home as I was too tired and weak to drive. I went back to the station on Saturday and dug my car out of the parking lot and worked on the station logs for the day because I was the traffic person as well and the log was typed up only until noon that Saturday! I had just turned 30; now I've just turned 60 so I don't think I'd have the stamina to do handle that againt today! Thank you. January 25, 2008 3:20 PM Sue said... I remember the blizzard and drive my kids crazy with the story every year. I went to a Catholic high school in Rocky River and I decided to wear jeans and pack my school uniform in my back pack. That was the smartest thing I did. My Dad dropped me off at the bus stop and I remember how warm it was and then it started to snow quite heavily. I think about 100 students got to school that morning and the nuns called us into the gym to tell us the school was going to close. They also told us there would be no bus service! Two fellow classmates (Pam and Ellen) and myself decided to walk and it took hours for us to get home. Westgate Mall was closed because we tried to get inside and we just kept walking. We stopped at a fellow classmate's house who stayed home and ate our lunches and then started back out again. It was so cold - it was worse than the recent Browns game my husband and I went to that was almost a blizzard! I will never forget it and will tell my kids about it every year! Thanks Sue January 25, 2008 3:20 PM Darlene said... I was twenty-six years old and living on Route 254 near Amherst. The barometric pressure was so low that my cat felt it and warned me at about 4:00 A.M. that the storm was coming by jumping continually from the window ledge on to my bed and back again while crying to try to awaken me. I learned later that many animals acted this way in anticipation of the winter storm. January 25, 2008 3:21 PM the bowlingsalley said... My husband sold Batteries for a living, it was a great time for battery sales, but it was so bad out that he was told not to come into work, so we went out for breakfast at Bob Evans on W. 130 and Brookpark road, where I went into labor. From Bob Evans we had to somehow get to Parma Hospital, We finally made it, where I stayed in hard labor for 3 days later, at which time I ended up having a C-section, Our son will be 30 Years old on Jan. 29th. It was truly a time period that I will never forget, because everytime I look at my beautiful man, I see the blizzard of "78" January 25, 2008 3:22 PM Roger said... in Madison Ohio the moring of '78 ... at our house, "Mom knew best" Luella (Scheve) kept her kids at home. Saying "when I say school is closed--- it's closed for you!" While 3 miles west her sister Emma (McGuire) didnt. We got to stay home all day and play. My cousins had to be snow-mo-biled home and didnt get there until after 7pm. Mom knows best... January 25, 2008 3:22 PM Heather said... Just wanted to share a memory with you regarding the blizzard of 1978. I was a junior in high school and I remember the forecast was calling for quite a bit of snow (nothing like what we ended up with). I JUST WANTED THAT SNOW DAY LIKE EVERYONE ELSE AT SCHOOL DID. Following the blast, we (my family) could not get out of our doors, the doors pushed out instead of opening in. My dad was determined to get out of the house to begin cleaning the driveway in order to get the vehicles out (or so he thought). Since no door to the house would open to get outside, he crawled out of the bathroom window, got stuck halfway and finally got through. On the other side of the bathroom window was a 6 ft. snow drift waiting for him. My dad pretty much disappeared as he plummeted through the snow bank. I never laughed so hard. All I can say is it was a good thing I was in the bathroom at the time!! GOOD MEMORIES. January 25, 2008 3:23 PM Nancy said... I REMEMBER THAT DAY VERY WELL. I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF IT… DRIVING A BOYFRIEND TO HIS JOB. EVERYONE WAS SHUT DOWN, BUT HE JUST KNEW HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT WAS OPEN, BUT OF COURSE, THEY MADE CASKETSJ….THERE WASN’T A SOUL ON THE STREETS SO IT WASN’T SO BAD. NEEDLESS TO SAY THEY WERE CLOSED! (I was 30 years old then) GUESS HOW OLD I SHALL BE THIS YEAR. January 25, 2008 3:24 PM Rhonda said... I was about to turn 6, my Dad is now retired, but was a Cleveland Cop and had to get to work, I remember he couldn’t get out the side door and so he managed to get out the front door off our porch, I don’t think we knew where he was but we could hear the shovel and then the snow-blower. I talk about it every winter, it is something that stays with you, although it was exciting to a kid, I never realized all those people perished during that storm, you never realize the magnitude of something like that, you were just glad to be home from school or out making forts or snowmen. January 25, 2008 3:24 PM Ginni said... I worked in a grocery store and during that blizzard everything was shut down, including the store. One of the store managers decided to go in to work because he knew people would need to get groceries. I went in and helped stock shelves along with a few other employees. That day led to a friendship between the manager and myself as we worked along side each other and talked the entire day. In September of that same year we were married and will celebrate our 30th anniversary this coming September 22nd. It's been a wonderful 30 years! January 25, 2008 3:25 PM Marie said... The best memory I have outside of not having to go to work for 2 days making for a nice long week-end was having my brother and his family staying at our house. My niece had just been born 15 days earlier and the power at their house went out in the wee hours the morning of the storm. My parents told my brother to get over to our house with that baby. We had a house full during the storm but boy that was so nice. Playing games to pass the time and being able to play with my nephew who was 8 years old and just bonding with my 2 week old niece. Those kind of memories stay with you forever. I will also never forget the night before I was out jogging in shorts it was so warm. January 25, 2008 3:26 PM Kathy said... I remember looking out my second floor apartment window and my first car, a pinto wagon, was completely buried in snow. My friend's van was barely visible. We walked down the middle of the street to the market for what little food was left there. January 25, 2008 3:27 PM Charles said... I was a photographer for the Ashland Times-Gazette at the time. I attempted to get to work the next morning after the storm hit and got all of a 1/2 mile from our home about 3 miles out of Ashland and buried the company car in a drift on a curve. I walked home in the blinding snow and could not get out of the house for two days until I was rescued by a neighbor on a snowmobile who got me to work. We passed the site where I had left the car, it was buried and only the tip of a radio antenna stuck out of the snow. I managed to go to work, get groceries for my wife and two dogs and get home by snowmobile. It was days before our road was open and the car unburied. Snowmobile became our transportation for some time. The inserted picture is one of mine that appeared on the cover of the Ohio National Guard magazine and later on the AG's incident report. It shows a guard front end loader cleaning out the driveway of a farmer south of Ashland. January 25, 2008 3:28 PM Gary said... I was a brand new National Guardsman with the 107th Armored Cavalry in Stow. We were called out but I was unable to get to the armory because my car was stuck in a 6 foot snow drift. I waited on a street corner in Cuyahoga Falls and was eventually picked up by a military vehicle. We reported to the Guard armory and were briefed on the situation and were split up into teams. Some teams were to rescue stranded motorists, others were to aid the local police and fire departments and my team was to transport medical personnel to the area hospitals. I was assigned to St Thomas Hospital in Akron and we arrived there after a treachorous 3 hour drive from Stow to Akron! There were motorists trying to flag us down to help them push their vehicle or give them a ride to shelter. We just were unable to to get help for everyone and we finally arrived at the hosptal at 1 am. We were dispatched almost immediately BACK to Stow to pick up a nurse and bring her in for duty. Right off the bat the situation was FUBAR. After working for nearly 24 hours straight I layed on the floor near a waiting room to get some sleep. We didn't even have artic gear and had to make due. I was awoken by my sergeant after a whole 2 hours sleep and was told we had to get going again. This went on for 5 days. Thank God for the staff at the hospital. They had the cafeteria open to us 24-7 and we could have whatever we wanted! At the end of my ordeal, after having worked rescuing drivers, transporting nurses, doctors and lab folks I collapsed at a friends house and slept on their couch for about 12 hours. They knew what I had been through. For that we recieved the Armys Humanitarian Service medal, the award I am most proud of in my 22 year military career. January 25, 2008 3:29 PM Joe said... I took 3 days to get the road open and the car out. I am 6 feet tall in the picture. I had to snowblow a path to the barn so we could bring the pet rabbits to the warmer garage. When I came in the house to warm up my glasses were frozen to my face. We used our snowmobiles and helped the police and fire department deliver medication, food and heating oil to those in need. Route 90 was closed and we took stranded motorist to Quail Hollow. January 25, 2008 3:30 PM Mark said... I remember looking out of my 2nd floor bedroom window at our house in West Park, and I saw 10 and 15 foot tree limbs tumbling down W160th street like toothpicks. I also remember the howling, thunderous wind. We lost our power about half-way through the 2nd day of the storm, and we were lucky enough to have a gas burner in our fireplace to sit by and keep warm. My late grandfather was a retired Cleveland Policeman, and he was very glad to be at home then! I also remember the effort to clear the snow. Snow plows from the city dumped massive piles of snow in the parking lots of city parks. The city crews had nowhere else to put it! It seemed like there was snow in those parking lots until May! January 25, 2008 3:30 PM Daryl said... During the blizzard of 1978 I had just left Cleveland attending attending college in Boston. In addition, Boston got a second bliizzard in febuary 2 weeks later. The one in febuary Cinncinatti was hit by and Cleveland had missed. Aside from heavy snow & cold weather in Boston. It was accompanied by a blackout which lasted 22&1/2 hours as well in the whole metropalitan area. In addition the Nation Guards came to help clean the streets. And it was a state of emergency 6 days meaning.School were closed & NO ONE was allowed to drive unless they worked at a hospitals, police, fire, or ambulance. And ones working at food stores, or delivering foods & medicines. I was 20 enjoying the whole experience. January 25, 2008 3:31 PM Daryl said... During the blizzard of 1978 I had just left Cleveland attending attending college in Boston. In addition, Boston got a second bliizzard in febuary 2 weeks later. The one in febuary Cinncinatti was hit by and Cleveland had missed. Aside from heavy snow & cold weather in Boston. It was accompanied by a blackout which lasted 22&1/2 hours as well in the whole metropalitan area. In addition the Nation Guards came to help clean the streets. And it was a state of emergency 6 days meaning.School were closed & NO ONE was allowed to drive unless they worked at a hospitals, police, fire, or ambulance. And ones working at food stores, or delivering foods & medicines. I was 20 enjoying the whole experience. January 25, 2008 3:31 PM Jeff said... I was coaching the St. Joseph High School hockey team in ’78 and our practices were held at C.E. Orr Arena in Euclid on Mondays at 5:45 a.m. and Wednesdays at 11:15. The evening in question was warm and breezy with a hint of rain as I was driving home after 1:30 a.m. Thinking how nice it was…and not paying any attention to the gloom and doom in the forecast…I went to bed trying not to think about the early a.m. awakening to drive to my job at Goodwill Industries. When my alarm went off around 5:30, all I could think was how can I be up so early for such an easy drive to 55th and Central…and then I looked outside. I actually heard the wind first and then, looking outside, I literally saw nothing but white. The house across the street, the street lamp, even the post light 10 feet from my front window…all totally whited-out. What happened to the January thaw? But when my boss called around 7:00, I told him I was just getting ready to leave and head in to work. I don’t think he believed me but he told me it was too dangerous to try and to just stay home because we were going to be closed anyway. So I took my robe off and went back to bed. Unbelievable! January 25, 2008 3:32 PM Drew said... I was 14 years old when the blizzard of 1978 hit, but I remember it today is if it happened yesterday. I recall weather alerts running across the bottom of the screen the eve of the storm and remember my father scoffing, saying that there was no way the warm weather that had occurred that day would result in a blizzard that quickly. If memory serves me correctly the temperature had soared to around 50 degrees and when the words "BLIZZARD WARNING" scrolled along the bottom of the TV I clearly remember a degree of excitement...most of which was based on the thought we may not have school the next day. As our family all headed to bed I remember that we spoke about what we may wake up to the next morning. Well, it did't take all night for the storm to arrive. In the wee hours of that morning it ripped through Elyria like a 80 mile an hour freight train. It woke everyone up in our house and I recall my father being concerned that the array of glass windows in our living room that faced west, could possibly be blown out from the wind. As the storm continued to batter us, my parents flipped on their bearcat scanner to hear what was going on around town. The police were in a frenzy with reports of downed wires, broken out windows in numerous local businesses and a real concern of what eventual damage that this storm would cause. Needless to say my dream of a NO SCHOOL announcement was quick to come, as I recall Joel Rose from the morning exchange saying "that he was sure most schools were closed, and if they aren't don't go anyways". It had already been an active weather period and snowstorms seemed frequent that year, but I knew, even at 14 years of age, that this was a storm I would remember forever. That morning, at the peak of the storm, my mother mentioned to my dad that we needed to get to the store if it was possible. Well, my dad was never one to back down from a challenge, so he fired up our old 1968 Chevy Caprice station wagon...yep, one of those with the fake would paneling, and he said "Drew, do you want to venture out with me"? I was a bit nervous, but to me my dad could do anything so I excitedly said "yep, I'll go". I remember as we pulled out of our driveway we found it difficult to get going, but as we turned onto the street that our local convenient store was on, I knew that this too was going to be something I would remember forever. About a quarter mile down the street I remember my dad saying " hey Drew, hang on and take a look at this snow drift coming up". I recall that he tried to get some speed up as we were going to take this drift head on. As we got close I could see that this drift in the road was higher than the hood of our car. As we hit it, there was so much snow flying that it took several seconds before we could see again but even then visibility was virtually nothing. After a few minutes we made it to the store and I remember the shock on the managers face as we made our way inside. He was contemplating closing the store but realized that if he could gut it out, and people needed some essentials, that it would be a great service if he could remain open. We struggled getting home at the winds seemed to be consistently reaching 60 mph but we made it. As the day went by we were just shocked that this storm wasn't letting up. It wasn't so much the know but the unbelievable wind. There was virtually no way to know how much snow that we got but I remember that most of the area received about 8 inches. As reports came in throughout the day it was clear that this was a storm that would go down in history as one of the most deadly and vicious storms that the area had ever seen. I have lived in Elyria my entire life, and all snowstorms that roll through are inevitably compared to that storm....but so far, nothing compares to the Blizzard of 78'. January 25, 2008 3:32 PM Jennifer said... I never ever missed a day at work, no matter how bad the weather was in Cleveland. I try my best to make it to work, even if I'm running late, and I still maintain that same attitude even now all these years later. What I remember about the blizzard of 1978 was, after I walked three blocks to drop my son off to the nursery school (we lived in East Cleveland at that time) the snow was up to my knees, so I had to carry a two year old in my arms with his bags. I then made my way over to Euclid Avenue to the bus stop and headed to work which was at Frieberger Library at Case Western Reserve University at that time. I waited over an hour for the bus, and when it did arrive, it took another hour to get down Euclid from East Cleveland to Adelbert Road in front of the school. I trudged my way through the snow to the building, which by this time I was 2 hours late, and when I arrived, the doors were locked and the place was closed. I had no idea. I cried all the way back to the bus stop. My tears froze on my face. I waited an hour for another bus to come back up Euclid. The next day someone called to say they would be closed again also. There were no closings on the TV marquee at that time, some schools only but businesses did not call the TV stations like they do today for closings. It was the worst day of my life. Now I have my own car, but I still try to make it out to work no matter what. But I have never seen the snow as bad as the winter of 1978. January 25, 2008 3:33 PM Nancy said... I was 18 years old and a Freshman at Cleveland State. I was working part-time downtown at Eaton Corp. one floor below the old Top of the Town Restaurant in the Erieview Building. I knew something big was going to happen because we could see the storm over the lake. We literally watched it come in off the lake. We were on the 39th floor of that building and the building started to sway. The drapes were moving away from the wall and the hanging lights were moving back and forth. My hot chocolate was doing a little dance in my cup. There were 100 mph winds off the lake that day and our building was catching it full force. The building was swaying so much that I was getting nauseous. Eaton ended up closing the office and they sent us all home. Try walking down E. 9th Street with 100 mph winds at your back. The wind was swirling between the buildings, blinding the pedestrians with snow that felt like sharp pellets on our faces. There were grab ropes on some of the sidewalks. People were clinging to the lamp posts. People were being knocked down in the crosswalks by the wind. We formed a human chain to cross Ninth street pulling each other to the other side of the street to get to the bus stops. Somehow or other I made it home. Of course my classes were cancelled at Cleveland State, but lo and behold, the Cleveland Press delivery truck made it to the drop site on E. Ridgewood Drive in Seven Hills. Two of my brothers were paperboys. I drove them up to the corner of Winchester Drive and E. Ridgewood and all I can remember is the snow drifting into the street from both sides. If I would have met another car coming the opposite way, we wouldn't have been able to pass each other. We gathered all the paper sections and hurried back to the car. We had put the seats down in the station wagon so the boys could put the papers together out of the cold. Then we took off to tackle the paper route. I would drive slowly down the middle of the street and my brothers would make their way through chest-high snow or worse. The funny thing was that it was blowing so hard, that the middle of the street was the only place you could see cement and that's where I stayed. One of my brothers went up to a house fighting his way through a drift to get to the front porch. He finally made it and turned around to go down the steps and he fell into a drift. I looked up and couldn't see him. I started yelling for my other brother that I couldn't see Dave. All of a sudden, Dave comes crawling out of this snow drift and he was covered from head to toe in snow. He had one of those anteater coats on that had the hood that protruded out about 8 inches. The poor kid had snow caked all inside of the hood and he was trying to find his face. I had to laugh because he looked so funny, but he was so cold. I can't even believe we were out in this weather. It seemed like an adventure and I don't think we were too scared because we were in our neighborhood. When we had to go to the next subdivision over to deliver the papers, it was a little tense because it was getting dark and I hoped that I wouldn't get stuck in the snow. We finished the route and went home to warm up and eat supper. We got a call from a woman who said her paper wasn't delivered. We were sure we had gone to the house and my brother checked his route cards and he new he didn't miss anyone because we had counted the papers before we left. He told her he had put it under the mat like he always did per her request. She said she even checked under the mat and the paper wasn't there. She was really angry and I was thinking to myself, "why would she want him to come back out in this weather?" Well, after supper, all three of us bundled up and took our sled with our own Cleveland Press copy to deliver to her. No more driving because the roads were impassable. The wind had died down some but I still can't believe we went out again. We had such a blast going to her house trying to pull each other through the snow on the sled and having impromptu snowball fights on the way. Thank heavens we put the paper in a plastic bag or it would have been ruined! We got to the house and as soon as we got up to the porch, I saw that paper right underneath the mat where my brother had left it. I told them to ring the door bell and show her the paper was right where it was supposed to be. It had snow on it, so it hadn't been touched. The lady was only a little apologetic and gave us a gruff "thank you". So we mumbled and grumbled on the way home about how she was ungrateful for us coming out in this weather. More snowball fights ensued and we were frozen stiff by the time we got home. It's tough work trudging through snow that high. We got home and we were so tired. Our legs felt like rubber. Everyone wanted to hop into a hot shower to warm up. I don't think we saw a snowplow on our street for two days. Obviously, nobody was going anywhere. I can't remember if we went out to do the papers the next day. I'm thinking not. When the snow plow finally came, the snow got piled up on the end of our street. We lived on Winchester Oval, and John Glenn Elementary was at the end of the street. There was an area at the end of the street where there wasn't a house, so the snow was piled there. We looked out the window and saw this huge wall of snow in the street. The next day, word spread fast that we had a mountain of snow on our street. The neighborhood kids showed up and we had one heck of a snowball fight using the "Mountain" as our shield. We were out there for hours. It took forever for that pile to melt. They actually had a front end loader come down our street to remove all the snow out of the oval, so you can imagine how high that pile got. I don't remember how long the schools were closed, but I do know my brothers and I had a lot of homework after that blizzard in order to make up all the work we missed. We still talk about that adventure to this day. January 25, 2008 3:33 PM Penny said... I was working at University Hospitals of Cleveland at the time. I remember that I was unable to leave the building and drive up Mayfield Hill to Cleveland Heights, so I remained at the hospital for three days. Many other employees did the same. I slept in a room in the old Mather nurses’ dormitory; but others were using empty hospital beds. Food was scarce, but everyone was cheerful and helping in any way that they could, because other employees were unable to arrive at work (although many tried). Our only priority was taking care of the patients. I remember looking out the window at night, seeing Severance Hall. The streets were deserted. It was eerily quiet. When we were finally able to get home, it was such a relief to change clothes and rest in our own beds. January 25, 2008 3:33 PM Rick said... I was living in an apartment near the University of Akron and was working as a letter carrier at the post office. When the warning came across the television screen the night before, I went to the parking lot and removed the battery from my car and placed it in a box inside my apartment door. When I awoke to go to work the winds were howling. I had to enter my car from the passenger's side because the driver's side was frozen. I reconnected my battery and then drove to the Kenmore Station. About half of the letter carriers made it to work. The building was very old. It constantly sounded as if the roof was going to come off. We started sequencing the mail for delivery. Each carrier sorted the mail for approximately two routes. Our plan was to deliver mail to as many businesses as we could but then the call came from downtown that nobody was to go out. I left work at about 1:30 PM. While sitting at a red light on the Buchtel Ave. bridge over Route 8, my 1971 Plymouth Duster which was relatively light in weight felt like it was going to be blown off of the bridge. I was so scared I drove through the red light to get off of the bridge. January 25, 2008 3:34 PM Joann said... My name is Joann and at that time I had been living in South Euclid and had started a job after staying home 9 years to be with my daughters. I was working on Miles Road across from Randall Mall) which i might say i am still at the same company, 30 years later, up the road at a different building. My boss had let us out early around 3pm and told everyone not to get on the interstates. I left work and got on Miles to Green Road whick took me about 1 hour and then the police were having everyone turn around as the road closed so as we all turned around I just followed everyone else back to Miles Road and we got on 271 North and was going up the ramp, when i got to the top of the ramp, oh mo God, i knew i was in trouble. There were cars stranded everywhere and semi trucks just sitting in the middle of 271. I never saw anything like it before it my life. I had no choice but to try to get to my destination, thank God i had a full tank of gas, and this was around 4pm. At that time you did not have cell phones so i could not call anyone so i just tried to progess forward on the interstate. well 8 1/2 hours later i got to Chagrin Blvd which was 2 exits. when i got there , there was a backup from the bottom of the ramp to 271 there was a line forming on the interstate. A wonderful man came up to my car and said i had to backup and go another exit no one could get thru on the ramp, the drifts were over the cars. I will never forget this wonderful person, he parked cars at the Ground Floor Restaurant on Chagrin, which is no longer there, he saw me crying and said come with me. him and i walked from the top of the ramp to chargin blvd., which is a very long walk with snow so high and the wind blowing. I fell down a couple of time and he helped me up andi could feel the tears freezing on my cheeks and he was just so wonderful, i do not know if i would have made it without him. he was my guardian angel. when we got to Chagrin Blvd we went into this chinese restaurtant at the village plaza which was around 2am now and Chagrin looked like a bottle ground, cars were everywher, you would have never thought it was 2am, finally got my husband who was looking for me since 4pm, he was all over 271 in a jeep looking for me, and my family thought the worse as the whole ordeal took around 13 hours, i finally got home around 4:30 am and did not go to work for 2 days after that. I just am so glad i never tried to go further to Cedar Road as I could have been one of the unfortunate ones that was buried for a couple of days. I will never forget that wonderful patient man he was my hero January 25, 2008 3:34 PM Jim said... I have a very interesting memory. I was in high school at Gilmour Academy. My father came to my room, the night before the storm, to say that my school was cancelled for the next day. I checked outside the window and it was calm and near 50 degrees outside. Incidentally, we were, as I recall, the only school to cancel the night before. I thought.."the school must have been snookered. Predicting a blizzard??? Looks nice out." I stayed up and watched the Tonight Show. The next morning the storm was on. My dad took me out to his office to help people get out of the office lot. As I was trying to push cars, I was literally getting blown away. I had to get on my hands and knees to cross the parking lot. Wow!!! Wild memories January 25, 2008 3:35 PM Virginia said... We were living off W 140th street at the time and had invited a friend over for dinner. Mike took the rapid transit and walked to our house from W 150th. Mike was our guest for 4 days. Thank goodness for Frank’s Deli being open at Emery and 140th as we were running out of food. They remained open as the family lived right next door. Quite an experience! January 25, 2008 3:35 PM Marge said... I remember the blizzard very well – I worked downtown in the Hanna Building and my boss phoned me at home said stay put, the wind was so bad one the windows in the building shattered – that did it for me. I remember the wind and the cold, it was a beaut… January 25, 2008 3:35 PM Dennis said... Memories of riding RTA bus to school. After starting to school, it was canceled. The rest of the day was spent riding RTA buses with the drivers I knew. I was 15 at the time. Ironically, I work for RTA now... for 23 yrs. January 25, 2008 3:36 PM Larry said... My wife and I were married in Lorain on January 20, 1978. I had parked my car at the church earlier because it was snowing so bad, and I didn’t want to not have a ride. My folks stopped at my apartment to pick my best man and me up, and as I got near the car, I remembered my dress shoes were still inside, and for some unknown reason, I told them to go on ahead. When I got back outside, I realized my mistake too late; they had gone on without me. Now the church is only about 3 blocks away, but the snow was several feet deep piled along the road, and I was in my tux, so, I stuck out my thumb. Two cars passed by, but the third pulled over. A gentleman of about 50 was driving alone, and smiled and asked if I needed a lift. “Yes sir, to my wedding at St. Anthony’s up the road”. He then said, “I had to stop! I knew you had to have a good reason hitchhiking in a blizzard dressed in a tux”. The snow was so bad that we had no organist, even though she lived 3 blocks away. We had my wife’s cousin dig out the church lot with a front end loader. We honeymooned in our apartment because the state was SHUT DOWN later that week. All true, and we toast it every year, and are celebrating our 30th this year at a Punta Cana Resort, forecast 85 and SUNNY! January 25, 2008 3:36 PM Anonymous said... I lived in Lakewood at the time. The night of the blizzard I had to spend the night at a friend's house at Shaker Square. To my amazement, the next morning I found that not only my car was buried in the snow, but that someone had actually tried to steal it! The steering column and ignition were ripped out but evidently even the snow was too much for the criminals. At that time I had a relatively new job and worked in Berea. I felt that I needed to show up but didn't realize the extent of the storm. I took the rapid to the West 117th station and called my sister to pick me up. By the time she got there I decided that, despite my intention to go to work, it wasn't worth it. I stayed home all day and watched the snow and the storm and Lake Erie from the 17th floor of my high rise apartment. I didn't lose my job and there was obviously no rush to get my car fixed! January 25, 2008 3:36 PM Jana said... I was 14 years old and an 8th grade at Green Middle School in Smithville. I remember listening at first in morning for school closings, after about the second day, the closing started coming in the evening. 30 years ago that was unheard of. If I remember correctly the storm hit the first of the week. By Monday of the following of the following week the announcement of all announcements came, “School will be closed until further notice!” In Wayne County there must have been a scream of happiness heard all the way to the moon. We were out of school for about 3 weeks. 30 years later I teach school. I feel sorry that my students will never get to experience anything like that during their school years. It seems like every winter the subject comes up. But no snow storm has ever lived up to that fateful January when the radio announcer said, “School is closed until further notice!” January 25, 2008 3:37 PM Anonymous said... I lived across from Edgewater Park at the time on the third floor of a big house. My outdoor stairway entrance was covered on the top and sides, so I was protected from the wind and snow and didn't yet know how bad the storm was when I opened my kitchen door to let my collie down the stairs and into the fenced back yard. When she reached the bottom of the steps, the wind snatched her sideways and she disappeared as though an invisible cane had yanked her off a stage in an old cartoon. I ran down the steps in my pjs and barefeet and found her 15 feet away held against the back fence by the wind and looking helpless. I've never been sure how I got her and me back upstairs. It know it made me appreciate all those blizzard-on-the-prairie scenes in books and movies. Later I found out I was going to be docked a day's pay because my idiot co-worker walked to work at our 2 person office at Lake and Detroit. I was told that since I lived only a mile from the office that I could have made it too. January 25, 2008 3:37 PM John said... I was 7 years old, live in Conneaut, I just got a small snowmobile,"kids size" and I got all suited up and my day keep shaking his head, so we went to the garage, he opened the door and the snow was 2" away from the gutter, thats almost 9 feet high., He says to me I don't think so. Then he want me to knock down the drifts so he could see out the window. So I went next door and had the "Brady Bunch" 4 kids next door to help, We grabbed our sleds "of course it was the oldest one's idea" and walked to the top of the roof and slid down right on top of the drifts, It was fine till dad came out and said," GET YOU HID-ENDS OFF OUR ROOF, YOUR KNOCKING ALL THE GRIT OFF OUR SHINGLES" well the grit was still their for another 10 years and a few hours later a state snow blower came down our dead end street in the city, as we watched from the window as the window rattled. I said I wanted to do that. Now after 15 years with ODOT and 30 years after the storm, we haven't a a good storm since, 1997 was close NWS out of buffalo has some picturs of bridges,cars,houses and the airport on their site. If you need it send a reply and when I get to work,I will send it. I have the links on our computer January 25, 2008 3:37 PM Debbie said... That winter storm has been like it was yesterday!!, I had graduated from high school and had my first full time job, I had received a rebuilt Fiat (very small foreign car) for a graduation gift from my parents and I was working in Willoughby Ohio and lived in Mentor. The Willoughby bridge was closed for repairs and the only two ways home was the RT 84 hill which was to dangerous for my small car or the freeway( RT 2). I got on the free way and it not too bad but everyone was going 5-10 mph then the storm really hit and it got real dark and you had to use headlights. In a few moments The snow was so fast and heavy that I didn’t know if I was on the road or not!. I had to follow the highway lamps for a guide. The storm then turned into a ice storm and I could no longer see!!, I had to make the scary decision to stop on the freeway and get out and free off the ice on my wipers and windshield. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a single line of headlights behind me and no one in front of me!, I then realized that I was leading the line of cars behind me and I thanked God that I knew the road well enough to get to Mentor at least. I stopped the car got out to clear the wipers and the male driver behind me got out and yelled “ If you stop now we all will be stuck “ and asked if I needed a ride, I told him I was clearing my wipers and we both got back into our cars and proceed. I arrived home walked into my parents Kitchen and yelled for my mom and fell into her arms and cried as she warmed me up. My Mom said she thought I went out for dinner and wasn’t worried about me and I asked what time it was and it had taken a total of two hours to get home from Willoughby to Mentor which would normally take twenty min. Please remember I was only 21 yrs old and terrified when I realized I was leading (or slowing) the line of cars behind me and wonder about the man behind me and if he got home ok. I then started packing an overnight bag in my car and stayed at a friend’s house on bad days that winter. January 25, 2008 3:38 PM Karen said... My fondest memory was that me and two of my brothers had to go to school that day(schools were'nt cancelled so quickly back then). Our father took us to school, and about an hour later they decided to send us home. But what I really remember is that vicious wind blowing, and you could'nt see anything no where around you. Despite all of that, I still went out to play in the snow. That was fun!! January 25, 2008 3:38 PM Powell said... I remember the Blizzard all too well. At the time I was an officer in the 107th Armored Cavalry Regiment and our unit was called up. Out area of operation, if I remember correctly, was in Ashtabula County and we were on patrol for days. I still get "cold" thinking about that "duty." (smile) January 25, 2008 3:38 PM Guy said... January 1978; I was 17 years old, a senior at St. Ignatius (home due to the bad weather) and had had my driver's license for 2 months. At the height of the snowstorm, 2 little girls were delivering the Cleveland Press on our street in West Park. There were brutal whiteout conditions that afternoon. In those more trusting times, my mom told me to stop those two girls and drive them home. I'm sorry if my neighbors didn't get their copy of the Press that day. As I recall, there was no argument from them. I used my father's white 1966 Impala. I don't recall their names or where they lived, but imagine an inexperienced teenage driver approaching two young girls and telling them to get in the car. There would be trouble aplenty now. Back then, it was the neighborly thing to do. The previous winter, I remember Ed Fisher at WJW radio reading off the list of closed school one morning during the big cold snap. He had this crazy recording (playing in the background) of kids yelling "yippee, yahoo, hooray" and so on as he ran down the list. That was the first time I ever had a snow day; it was great. January 25, 2008 3:39 PM David said... Ahh, I remember it well. I was staying with a girlfriend in an apartment building near Cedar-Fairmount in Cleveland Heights. It was my birthday. We walked a few blocks to visit friends and we all walked back to Russo’s to shop for dinner. We had a great meal for my birthday. It was amazing how you could lean into the wind and not fall down. I still remember, to this day the low barometric pressure reading. I also remember the apartment buildings in my area. There were drifts against them on one side of the street at least 5 ft., if not taller. A few hours later, I looked outside and they were gone! Now the buildings on the other side that had nothing had the drifts and they were at least 7 ft. tall! P.S. For this birthday, my wife is taking me to my first hockey game. I will be 55 years old. January 25, 2008 3:39 PM Jeanne said... My husband, 4 children and I were to leave on vacation to Florida on the day the blizzard hit. Normally we would have traveled Rt I-77 from Akron, but it was closed. We had to delay a day until the turnpike via PA was opened, then followed a route across Virginia and on south. When we hit Virginia, we decided to stop at a restaurant in the mountains. We walked into a near empty room, with one round table occupied by about 6 men playing poker, money right out on the table. After a few minutes, one of them hollered "hey Mable, there's strangers out here." Then they noticed our car. It was covered with Ohio and Pennsylvania salt, mud, and slush. The blizzard became a hot topic while we were there, and my favorite comment came from the waitress; "we had a terrible snow storm here, too, a half an inch. They had to close down the school, the roads were so bad, and they ran out of sand." We didn't wash the car until we reached the family in Florida so all the snow birds could appreciate what they were missing. The temperature was 76 degrees when we arrived, and everyone was apologizing because it was so cold. We didn't even wear sweaters, and they were wearing winter coats. I guess snow and cold are relative. January 25, 2008 3:40 PM Michael said... The winter of '77-'78: I delivered the PLAIN DEALER for those two back-to back terrible winters of '76-'77 and '77-'78. Back then, I pulled my wagon in the heavy snow. It was unusual for my dad to motor me around in the family car to deliver. Collecting $1.40 for a weeks worth of the PD door-to-door would have been better if folks deliberately didn't answer the door or worse, made you come back another time. Lots of calamity days from school though!! I was in the eighth grade at St. Vincent de Paul Elementary school. January 25, 2008 3:40 PM Anonymous said... I woke up early that morning and thought that I would get to work early to beat the morning rush hour. I left my house in Wickliffe to Gould-Clevite 17000 St. Clair Ave. It was only a few snow flurries. But when I arrived at work, I couldn't see anything and had to have help from three third shift guys to help me into the building because of the wind and snow. Then, to my amazement, they closed the plant. I had to drive home in the major blizzard. I drove home in the middle of Euclid Avenue into Wickliffe with a police car following me to make sure that I was OK. When I arrived home, I couldn't get in my driveway, had no phone, and my antenna blew off my roof. I will never forget that day! January 25, 2008 4:49 PM Anonymous said... I was in 9th grade in Toledo. We were sent home early and I caught a ride with a friend who said his Mom was picking his sister and him up as we all missed our bus as they were not numbered correctly. Turned out to be some senior guy who proceeded to end us up in three snowbanks on the way home. I got out at their house and walked home as I wanted no more part of that. Schools would never take a kids word on anything now, for just this kind of thing. I then had to deliver my 157 houses on my paper route. I ended up with frostbite to my hands and feet. A problem ever since. We did get a dog out of it. The ugliest dog followed me around for weeks after that. He wouldn't come inside but would wait for food and company when I was out. January 25, 2008 5:27 PM Anonymous said... Everything shut down and I drove home from work,So did my husband, with nothing else to do for the next few days, our son will be turning 30 this year!!!! January 25, 2008 5:33 PM Joey said... I was off school so long that I got hooked on watching "Ryan's Hope" on TV. January 25, 2008 6:15 PM Nell said... My husband and I were students at BGSU in 1978. We lived in a trailer about 5 miles outside of town with our two month old daughter. Our trailer was buried under drifts of snow, we had no heat, electricity or water. Our phone worked so at least people knew we were there and that people were trying to get us out. On the second night we heard a knock on our trailer roof. A person from town had heard about our situation and was there offering to take my daughter and I into town on his snowmobile. Rather than risk the dangers of the cold and traveling in the dark on a snowmobile we decided to stay. He took our phone number and said he would call the next day to see if we had gotten out. The next day another knock came on our door. The army had dug out to our trailer park and was putting people on their trucks and taking them into town. We had been in contact with the Newman Center in town. They never lost their heat, electricity or water. They had a room for us. When we arrived they had made a banner welcoming us and had prepared a spaghetti dinner in our honor. I remember crying in gratitude. A kind nun even took all of our baby’s dirty diapers and washed them for us. It was my husband’s 20th birthday the day we were rescued it is still the best birthday present either of us ever received. Our youngest daughter is now a student at BG, I hope there is not a repeat of the blizzard of ’78 while she is there. January 25, 2008 8:29 PM Anonymous said... Thirty years ago, I learned how to cook. I had been at a dance at Gilmour Academy, and the plan was for me to spend the night at my aunt's house in Cleveland Heights, so my date didn't have to drive me back to Lake County. That one evening turned into a seven day stint with my aunt, my mother's sister. She was a gourmet chef, and over the days we were snowed in, she taught me how to make simple soups, then sauces, how to flambe, saute and present food. It was like a crash course with Julia Child! But the kitchen stayed warm with my cooking lessons, bread was being baked, and I got to know my aunt. It is one of the most cherished memories of my life: being afforded the opportunity to get to know this woman who had grown up with my mother. She is gone now, as is my mother, but whenever I enter my kitchen with the idea of making something beyond my ability, I always think of the week with my aunt. And I know whatever I make will turn out perfectly. 11:25 PM, January 25, 2008 Anonymous said... During the Blizzard of '78, I lost my virginity, then I had to dig my car out of a 4 foot drift in my driveway. Yep, that day sure won't be forgotten.


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