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Blizzard of ’78: Where Were You 34 Years Ago Today?

Nearly three decades ago we were blanketed with 27 inches of snow.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 34 years since Massachusetts was hit with the Blizzard of '78, but the stories will withstand the test of time.

On Feb. 6, 1978, the area was blanketed with a record 27 inches of snow with the added bonus of hurricane force winds. The storm began the morning of Feb. 6 and lasted through the following evening. It was a storm that was never really predicted to be this large, and yet from it one good thing came – we learned about emergency preparedness. 

The snow came down so quickly (at a rate of an inch an hour) that thousands of motorists were stranded in snowdrifts as they drove down Rte. 128. Roads throughout the state were impassible and cars were abandoned at every turn.

For those of us who were old enough to remember, the memories differ. The motorist stuck in his car for hours on the highway, the family wondering where that person was, to a community paralyzed by Mother Nature in a storm no one ever expected.

As a young girl I remember climbing seven foot snow piles while my parents shoveled and plowed our driveway so we could get out of the house. I remember, walking from Dedham’s Oakdale Square, down to the Rte. 128 rotary with my family and neighbors pulling children on sleds. We crossed over the highway and I remember seeing the graveyard of cars sitting on the highway, just frozen there, covered in snow. We were walking to  in Westwood, the only store open in the area for milk bread and anything else we needed while the Commonwealth was in a state of emergency. 

As a child it was almost magical because we didn't understand the danger. Our parents shielded us from the chaos and we didn't know people lost their lives in that storm. Looking back as an adult, it's terrifying how unprepared we were for this event. 

Thirty-four years ago we had 27 inches of snow. Today, the forecast is saying temps will be in the 50s. I’ll take the 50-degree temps over what happened here a little more than three decades ago.

Where were you during the Blizzard of '78? What do you remember? Tell us in the comments section. And if you have photos of the snow, show them off by clicking the "Upload Photos and Videos" button.

Anne Gelineau Powers February 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I remember well going to the First National to get milk and bread - while it lasted. I also remember walking to Medford Savings Bank (where I worked) on High St. to get the bank open - 3 days after the storm had blanketed MA. You see there were no ATMS back then and people needed cash to buy groceries!

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