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|Blizzard of 1978 video|
I remember this storm very clearly. The storm hit the day before my 12th Birthday. My sister and I had to walk through 2 feet of snow to the A&P (grocery store) so I could have Taco's for my birthday dinner. My mom had to give me IOU's for my presents. One very clear memory is Jeff Heitz on the air for days in the same white cable knit sweater. I think he was trapped here at the station. -- Laurie
I well remember the blizzard of 1978! I was snowbound for three days with my husband, daughter and step-son near Kansas, Ohio. My husband was ill and needed a blood transfusion. We hadn't lived there very long and had no close neighbors, so I called the local volunteer fire department. Those wonderful people who didn't know us from Adam fought their way through several drifts on our small side road to rescue us. Then they stood in the field across the road holding flares and landed a national guard helicopter that took my husband into Fostoria Hospital for blood. One of the firemen, Don Conley, insisted the kids and I go home with him. In the coming two days the Conley family and us became fast friends. Their son and friends took snow mobiles and went to a local farmer who had milk and no way to transport it. The kids said it was the best milk they ever tasted. Tom, Carol and Don have all passed on, but those of us left behind will never forget that winter. God Bless the Kansas Volunteer Fire Department, which many years later my son-in-law became a member of. My daughter ended up working with a nurse who is married to one of the guys who was on that helicopter. It truly is a small world full of wonderful people. Thank you for allowing me to share. -- Jodee
The blizzard of 1978 happened on my 20th birthday. I was stuck out in the country with no electricity, water, or heat. We were stranded for 3 days. The following October, I moved into Bowling Green, so I wouldn't be stranded for my 21st birthday. I moved directly behind my favorite bar! -- JR
I remember the blizzard of 1978 very well. I was married to a News 11 weatherman! Joe called after the 6:00 p.m. news the night before and told me we were going to have a blizzard. He was planning to stop at a grocery store on the way home and wondered if there was anything specific we needed. I asked him how long we would be snowed in, and he thought at least two to three days. After we hung up I called my neighbor and told her about the blizzard. She told me I was getting too excited over something that may never happen. I reminded her I was married to the weatherman and she told me they were too often wrong...tornadoes missed us all the time. I said this storm was going to cover all of at least three states. She wasn't convinced. Later that night after Joe got home I suggested that he pack a bag and go back to the station to stay. He informed me that he could "drive through anything." The next morning when we looked out the windows the snow was blowing sideways, there was nothing moving, and everything seemed to be buried. Joe went from window to window and finally to look at the front of the detached garage. He immediately went to the phone and called the station. "Get me the .....out of here!" The station arranged for a four-wheel drive vehicle to pick him up, and he promised to put a pole in the snow in front of our house so they would know which one was ours!! That night he stayed with the rest of the crew at the Hillcrest Hotel. It certainly was a memorable time. Neighbors helping neighbors; people helping strangers, helping animals; strangers working together. Toledo and the surrounding areas proved to be filled with good people. -- Paula (Mrs. Joe) Ashton
We were living in Carey, Ohio at the time of the blizzard. We taped blankets over the front door where the wind was driving the snow in and headed for the basement. There were only 5 houses on our road. One family was in Florida and three of us had wood stoves. I remember my husband going out to the garage at one point to get his tool box, only to discover it was completely packed inside with snow. My husband crawled across the snow to get more wood and ran into the ropes of my clothes line. Not having electricity to operate the well, we melted snow to flush our toilets. We had plenty to eat from our home canned food and I baked bread in the wood stove. The quarry equipment (much larger that the normal snowplows you see on the road) was put to use to try and keep the roads open. A week later, it took a backhoe/front loader five hours to clear it. In doing so he damaged our water pump and as a result we did not have water from the well until the ground completely thawed in June. We carried water to drink and cook and took showers at the neighbors'. When it warned up we ran a garden hose from our neighbor's house. Weeks after the blizzard we discovered that the attic was filled with snow when we found water running down the wall in our closet. We have always laughed about the people you interviewed in Toledo who complained about having to walk to the store because the city hadn't clear their street. -- Peg
I was an O.D.O.T. snow plow driver and I remember the Blizzard of "78" well. I worked out of the Tiffin O.D.O.T. garage in Seneca county. On that morning I left the garage around 4:00 a.m. to plow my route which was State Route 18 from Tiffin to Fostoria. Before I got out of Tiffin I ran into thundersnow and the biggest snowflakes I've ever seen. After only going a mile or so on State Route 18 I knew we were in for something big. With the snow and wind increasing in intensity visibility deteriorated rapidly. I radioed another driver who was north of Tiffin on State Route 53 and asked him how his visibility was and he had by then the same conditions I was into. I made it to Bascom and by then decided to try to make it back to Tiffin, bad move on my part! After getting turned around and heading back towards Tiffin visibility was down to nothing. I went a little over a mile at a crawl praying there wasn't any traffic coming at me because I had no idea what side of the road I was on. Well it wasn't long before I figured out what side of the road I was on because I went off the road and into a ditch. I then radioed the garage and told them where I was and just sat tight while I figured out what do next. All this time I was sitting there it kept snowing and blowing and eventually enough snow blew in under the hood of the truck and filled the engine compartment killing the engine. Knowing no one would be able to get to me to help I decided to leave the truck and try to find a home or someplace to go for shelter. I could see a security light in the distance and knew then that I was near a truck terminal along State Route 18. I radioed the garage and told them I was leaving the truck and was heading for the terminal. After eating crackers out of a vending machine, some people I had been in contact with reached a couple of snowmobilers who were making trips to Tiffin to get medications for people who needed them. The snowmobilers couldn't even see the truck terminal as they went by because of the low visibility that day. Believe me when I say this was one of the longest and scariest days of my life. -- Dennis, Tiffin, Ohio
I was one of the luckiest people to experience the Blizzard of '78. I was a sophomore at BGSU living on the second floor of Founder's Hall on campus. A beer truck broke down in front of the dorm and the driver gave all the beer away. The guys and girls at Rogers & Founder's did quick work of helping him with his dilemma. There was a roof above the first floor of the dorm that was only accessible from the second floor through our dorm room windows. It made a great "refrigerator." I had made friends the summer before selling Kirby vacuums. They lived off campus and called to say they were coming to rescue me. I was thrilled since the bathroom situation at the dorm was getting pretty ugly. They picked me up in a little brown Audi and we made it 10 blocks across town, only having to push twice. I remember the eeriness of being the only vehicle or people outside. Once at the apartment, I was relieved and ecstatic. There was heat from a gas oven and the owners were gourmet chefs who had just stocked their freezer with tons of food, steak and lobsters. My parents lived three hours away and were terribly worried since they hadn't heard from me, as the phone lines were impossible to get through on. Finally, I was able to contact them after 2 days. They weren't too thrilled that I had left the dorm but, happy I was safe and warm. I'm pretty sure I didn't mention the beer truck or the lobster. Kathi - Millbury
I had just turned 18 and a senior at @ McAuley. It was just me and my mom @ home. My dad worked for Toledo Edison and we did not see him for days. It seems like it took days to shovel back to the garage, because the snow had drifted 3/4 of the way up the garage door. When it started to clear up, my friend and I took a sled and walked six blocks to a small family grocery store. We picked up supplies for the surrounding older neighbors, who could not get out. I can still remember how cold it was with no heat, but it was nice to have that time with my mom, especially since she just passed away. Thanks for the memories.
I was 21 years old and pregnant with my first child. He was born on March 10th, so that made me nearly 8 months pregnant at the time of the blizzard. All we could do was sit back and watch it snow! I lived with my disabled Grandmother at the time, and although we fared okay, it was one whole week before either of us were able to get outside farther than the front door. My mom came over after Day 3 and shoveled our steps and porch, and until then, we were sort of trapped inside! I believe this was the ONLY TIME in my lifetime that the mail service was canceled because of the weather! Some neighbor kids agreed to go to the grocery store for us, and my Grandma gave them a note with what to buy. They came back from our corner KROGER store almost empty handed! The grocery store had run out of almost everything! I can remember how scary of a time it was, how the doctors and nurses got rides to work at the hospitals from snowmobiles, how the people needing to be hospitalized were also taken there via snowmobiles and 4 wheel drive vehicles. The city paid private owners to use their snowplows to plow all the secondary streets because the city was unable to get to them right away. It was all they could do to keep the main streets cleared. I still recall the semi truck that had been snowed under after it pulled off to the side of the road, and how people on snowmobiles had driven right over the top of it and never knew it. And all those "I survived the Blizzard of '78" T-shirts that were sold within the first few weeks afterward. Amazing thing to have lived thru. Amazing memories. -- Betty
We were milking 40 head of dairy cows at that time. I remember my father and I spent all day, after getting chores done, with two tractors trying to keep the yard and driveway cleaned so that the milk hauler would be able to get in with his semi to pick up milk the next day as we only had a tank big enough for two days worth of milk. We were able to accomplish that, although we had piles of snow eight to ten foot high pushed every where. The problem was the milk hauler didn't live on a main road and couldn't get out of his yard with the truck. So for two days we milked the 40 cows twice a day and carried the milk out and dumped it in the snow drifts, talk about feeling down. The neighbor cam and got some of the milk in drums and feed his little pigs, but he couldn't give them much as it would have made them sick from not being used to cows milk. The only thing that would have made it worse was if the electricity would have went out and we would have had to milk the cows by hand. The neighbors a mile and a half down the road lost electricity for three days. As soon as the storm was cleaned up some, I called around and found a generator to buy to make sure we were ok for the next time. -- Gary Charter, Charter Farms in Ida, MI
I can honestly say I cannot remember the 1978 blizzard however I couldn't be more thankful it happened. I have two older brothers who were 4 and 5 at the time and were stuck at my great grandma's house thus leaving my parents to themselves for 3 days. Nine months later I arrived. I imagine with my brothers being as ornery as they were, this was the Only time my folks were able to spend together so I was very appreciative! -- Kim, Defiance
In the Blizzard of '78 I was an EMT-B and in Paramedic school and was 3 months pregnant. I taught First Aid to Law Enforcement students part time at Terra Community College (then Technical College). We had 5 children and lived in a house that had an old gravity feed furnace. We had heat and actually did pretty well. Then I heard a radio plea from a local church. They were looking for a "nurse" for their shelter with about 100 people. So I left my husband with five kids, got the first aid equipment from Terra courtesy of a 4-wheel drive vehicle and became the shelter "nurse" for the next 4 days. I had truck drivers scrubbing toilets to prevent disease, gave information on safe formula storage to shelter families and had only two real emergencies. One of my First Aid students was pregnant at the time and delivered during the blizzard. In June baby # 6 was born. Lisa, baby # 6, married Patrick, my student's blizzard baby, in 1999. They now have 2 children of their own. My son-in-law became a Paramedic also and is now a newly minted RN. Maybe next blizzard he will carry on the tradition. -- Marti Wethington
I had a newborn. He was born on Jan 4th. Our electricity went out. We had a gas stove which was the only heat. We had to close all the rooms off except the kitchen where the stove was. We would call my grandparents to check on them. They only lived on the other side of town but could not get to them. We could only make very short calls before the operator would come in. There was 5 of us living in a contained area with a baby. It was hard but not as hard as some had it. -- Karol
I turned 20 years old on that wintry day in 1978. I was the manager of the Lawson's Milk Company (Corner grocery store)at the corner of McCord and Angola roads in Holland Oh. The night before the storm I was called out to the store because the store had been robbed. As I was on my way out to the store I remember commenting on how big the snow flakes coming down were, they were huge. Since I lived across town my assistant manager ran the store during the blizzard. Lawson's was the only place in town that was opened and the volunteer fire department in Holland used my store as a base to get food and supplies out to the people of Holland. There was a Food Town right behind my store but they had closed down during the Blizzard. I lived close to an In & Out store which was a competitor of Lawson's. Since this store was out of bread a friend of mine and myself went to the Tastee Bread Company in his 1977 Firebird and loaded up trays of bread to take to the In & Out store so that our neighbors would have bread. Everyone came together and helped each other out. -- Susan
I was the editor of my high school newspaper. We were to have an issue due to be published when able to get back to school. I called my photographer, a classmate of mine, and ask him to take photos of the blizzard. He did. When we got back to school, the photos of Jeff Beck, were what the issue was all about. I had my writers make captions for what Jeff had taken. Once the paper was back, the issues sold very quickly. As so many students did not have an opportunity to take pictures, this was perfect. The school was Riverdale High School just south east of Findlay, the name of the paper was the Falconette. I am Brenda Elder-Blunk. Thanks for reading our memory. -- Brenda
I was working at the old Wonder Bread plant on summit street during the blizzard of 78. I was called in Saturday night because one other maintenance man could not get in to work. It was snowing pretty hard all the way in to Toledo but I made it. At around 1:00 AM Sunday morning it started to rain very hard with high winds. Then it got very cold very fast. The roads were covered with a 2 inch. layer of ice and all traffic stopped. It started to snow very hard for a long time. Just before I got in to work a flour truck had delivered a load of flour from Chicago. The plant had a full load of flour in it's bins. The plant was running at full capacity. When the shift changed at 6:00 AM Sunday morning no one showed up so no one was allowed to leave. We all kept working waiting for our relief people to show up. By noon we were told no one was coming in. The plant manager called in and said to run all the flour out. We were only to make one pound loafs. We are in an emergency mode he said, stay in the plant for nothing is moving anywhere and keep the plant running. We did what we were told to do and had bread stacked everywhere by the time we were out of flour Tuesday. When the city started to finally move, I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday, people came into the plant any way they could to buy bread. People came in by walking,on skies, dog sled, snowmobile, snowmobile pulling sleds. It was strange to see dog sleds on Summit St. One guy had two dogs tied to a kids sled going down Summit St. They would buy anywhere's from three loafs to one hundred loafs. Some were buying for their whole block. The one thing that struck me was that everyone that came into the plant had a cherry attitude. Cars and trucks were still not moving yet. I was driving a 1975 VW Beatle with my snowmobile suit and boots on. One hand on the steering wheel and one hand with a window scraper. When I get into my house I find that the pipes on my hot water heating system had burst. Water had flooded from the second floor onto the ceilings of the first floor and destroyed them. -- Brad, living in Maybee, MI (during the blizzard)
This blizzard was particularly memorable for me because I was very pregnant with my second child and was told I could deliver at any time. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to make it to the hospital and my doctor told me not to worry because he had a helicopter on standby. That terrified me even more because I had a dreadful fear of heights and for that reason I never went on a plane. The city was a mess for quite some time and the roads were still pretty iffy when I had him on February 22. My husband drove like a maniac and went over quite a few of those sidewalk things that used to go from corner to corner diagonally causing my water to break. And each time he went over another one there was another gush. I kept thinking at least I wasn't in the air, but I really wondered if I was going to make it in one piece. It was stressful to say the least.
On the morning of the Blizzard I received a telephone call from my supervisor telling me not to go in to work. I was already dressed. On a whim I started out walking the four miles that would take me to Bonnie's house. I had been seeing her since the previous summer. Don't remember how long it took me to get there but I was tired. I wasn't cold, just tired. I knocked on her door and when she answered I asked her if she wanted her walks shoveled for a nickel.
She and her three kids thought I was crazy to be out in that kind of weather. She couldn't have thought I was too crazy as she married me two months later, almost to the day. -- Mark
I was only 5 years old at the time of the blizzard. My mom was (and still is) a nurse at the Fulton County Health Center. We lived in Morenci, Mi. My mom was stuck at the hospital, my brother who was 2 at the time was stuck at the babysitters, and I was stuck at home with my Dad. I don't remember all the particulars, but at some point my dad took the snowmobile in his truck and went as far as he could on the road, then took the snowmobile the rest of the way to get my brother from the babysitter. We also used the snowmobile to go to the store and check on my Grandpa. I think it was a couple of days before my mom was able to get back home. As a six year old I remember it as being fun, like a campout with my Dad, Brother and Grandpa, but I don't think my Mom saw it that way being stuck at work for a couple of days! -- Jody
I remember my dad going to work at L.O.F. in Rossford that morning and he being there until Sunday and my brother working at Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg and he was stuck there until Monday evening. He said that they had people sleeping in the hallways because they were bringing people that were stuck on the expressway to the hotel. My married brother had a baby born on January 16th that year and his mother-in-law came from Canada to help out. She was supposed to go back that weekend but got snowed in. I remember her saying that you don't get much snow down here so she did not bring her hat, boots or gloves and we sure fooled her. My boss called me Thursday and Friday morning and told me not to venture out because our bank was closed. My younger brother and I had to venture out on Thursday afternoon and go to the two little grocery stores in Rossford to get bread, hamburger and other food and we also went to Danny's Cafe in Rossford where they made up hamburgers. We then met my dad at the gate at L.O.F. and gave him the food for him and the guys that were stuck at L.O.F. with him. The next day, L.O.F. had food brought in for the guys. It took my brother and I two days just to shovel our driveway because we had a long one and when we got the end shoveled the snow plow came through and we had to shovel that part again. I remember the drifts being high in places and one in front of our back door that we could not get in and out that way. It was a pretty sight to see especially with the snow on the trees. I am just glad that we all had heat and electricity and we all survived it. -- Carol of Rossford OH
January 27, 1978 was our 10th Wedding Anniversary...this Sunday will make it 40. My husband was employed at Interlake Iron on the East Side at the time of the Blizzard. He left for work on the 25th not knowing that he wouldn't be back home to his wife and 3 sons until the 28th. As a millwright at Interlake, and on the fire brigade, his job during the blizzard, along with the Security Division, was to go out to pick up stranded employees and bring them to work, get food and supplies for the workers, keep everyone warm, and happy...as best they could. They did a wonderful job. Back to the 10th Anniversary part of the story. Well, the gift for the 10th is lead or tin...some kind of metal..at least at that time it was. Well, on the 28th when my husband returned to his family I got my anniversary gift....other than having him home safe with us, I held in my lap a towel-wrapped "pig iron". You know, that's one of the few anniversary gifts I can truly remember after all these wonderful years. I don't know what I'll get this year for our anniversary but I sure hope it's not snow!! Connie of Grand Rapids, OH
I was a senior at Northwood High School at the time and my family and I were stuck in our house for days. We were luckier than some. My father was the pastor of the Northwood Church of God, and we had access to the kitchen and toilet supplies at the church to help us through. There were five of us and getting to the store was not going to happen. I also remember that about a month before this storm, in December of 1977, we had another snow storm. I was home from school and my sister was home from work and Walter Cronkite came on with an afternoon nationwide update (they did that in those days) and said, "Toledo, Ohio is having near blizzard conditions.". Well, my sister and I looked at each other and laughed and said "If this is near blizzard conditions, we would hate to see the real thing". Be careful what you ask for because a month later we did see the real thing! -- Cheryl
I was a Senior at Miller City High School in those days down in Putnam County - living on Route 109, 4 miles north of Ottawa with my parents. We lost power (like everyone else in the area) and we and our neighbors relied on a little 1200 watt generator my Dad had bought after the 1966 winter to intermittently power our furnaces and refrigerators, one-at-a-time. Candles and oil lamps and our Coleman stove were used in quantity and have always been included in my "just in case" supplies ever since. I remember how the snow had drifted around the house in a huge semi-circle, over Dad's little car in the driveway, and across the roof of the garage - necessitating the use of a cane fishing pole to locate his car before we might hit it with a shovel during the dig out. The drift across the front of the house was so high that we couldn't shovel our way through it and one could only see the tips of 18-wheelers' exhaust stacks going by once ODOT's enormous front loaders managed to clear the roadway 3 days later. Finally, my (then) brother-in-law negotiated the mile and a half of cold, windy highway on his front loader tractor to dig us a passage out. But before the dig out, one of my best friends had come out to "rescue" me from my parents for a bit - he blew his car's horn to let me know he'd arrived, and I then climbed over and down the drift out front by the road to his waiting (but out-of-sight) car. (and to a case of Little Kings beer...) There was no school for days - and of course - that was as detested as any high school student might feel... ;o) -- John, Bowling Green
I remember being so excited that we were going to get out of school. The snow was so high around our house we could hardly get out of our house.I remember walking all around the neighbor hood on mounds and mounds of snow once the city dug out all the roads.I felt I was in the mountains and felt so amazed and tall.Drifts were almost up to our roof and we could tunnel around our house and I had a ball.Snowmobiles were out rescuing people and taking groceries to stranded people and assisting the police in any way they could. I barely recall hearing some tragic stories of rescue attempts by my friends parents who owned snowmobiles.And snow blowers were the up and coming new technology and one of my best friends' parents had one and we went all around the neighbor hood blowing out peoples drives and side walks and delightedly were paid up to 5 and maybe even 10 bucks a driveway.we were rich. Here is a picture of the snow collected in the corner of our house in Defiance. I (Jane Sobota Deming-15 ) and my brother Andrew Sobota, dug it out and were building our own igloo.It seemed so huge to us .We were very proud of it. That year holds many of my favorite memories of no school, sledding,snowball fights and hot chocolate with friends!!! Then a nice warm house when we had enough !!! To this day I get excited when it is going to snow.Bring it on!!! -- Jane
I remember that it seemed liked it snowed for days even before the "big one". I was a substitute teacher in Cleveland suburbs and had to guess where the roads were that I had to drive down to get to work. I didn't dare refuse a job or I wouldn't have been called again. Then my father passed away on January 24, 1998. His funeral was scheduled for January 26, the day of the blizzard. That was the first time in history that the cemeteries were ever closed so the funeral was postponed till the following day. We never did make it to the cemetery even then. I remember our neighbors trying to walk to our house, to give us their support, with the 75 - 100 mile an hour winds and the blowing snow. All there was to do was to huddle in the house to try to stay warm and just watch the constant weather updates on TV. -- MLC501
This storm was a nurses worst nightmare.!! I was the head R.N. at St Ursula Academy. I was working at the nun's infirmary alone!! Since no one could get in I had to work 3 straight days and nights with only 1 nun there to help watch the infirmary while I tried to get a few hours sleep . By the 3rd day I was losing it and determined to go home even if it meant walking home. I was in tears when the other R.N. was able to get into the infirmary so I could get home . Shortly after the storm I decided to never work in anyplace that had only 1 nurse in charge. I joined the Medical College of Ohio. (I was also caught there for several days during the next major snow storm that shut down the city of Toledo.) -- Debbie Sheets
My husband Bob and I were foster parents at that time and the baby we had was on special formula. We needed more and had no way to get out. Then my husband put some chains on the truck and dug out. He went to a drug store not far from us and they had one can left. Needless to say the baby and I were very happy to get that one can which happen to be the powder kind so it last a few days. But we were very worried at first till bob found the chains in his Dad's garage. -- Bob & Mary Yard
I was the news/sports director at WTTF Radio in Tiffin. That morning I got up at 4 am, expecting the blizzard weather casters had been talking about. But it was 60 degrees when I left home, which was a farm about 5 miles east of Tiffin. By the time I had gone two miles, the blizzard hit. The wipers on my little VW Rabbit were no longer doing any good and, in another mile, the 60 mph winds and snow covered roads caused the car to slide into a ditch.
I waited there a while, expected to hitch a ride into town on the next semi to come along US 224. I finally realized there weren't going to be any semis. I did what you're supposed to do, crack the windows, start the car and run it ten minutes every hour. But by the second
hour the car wouldn't start...snow had blown into the engine compartment. As daylight dawned I got out and noted that I could see two utility poles at a time, so I knew I could probably walk a straight line. I headed to the nearest house. A woman and her two kids were there. Her husband was stranded at the factory where he worked in town. They had electric heat and the electricity and telephone remained on.
However, at my home, the phone still worked, but the electricity had quit shortly after I left. That meant no heat from our oil furnace. My wife was there w/ our two oldest, ages 4 and 2. They got some heat from candles and bundled up in mattresses on the floor. When they
went to bed that next night, while the blizzard raged, she was sure they would not wake up.
I was warm and well fed where I was. We spent a lot of time on the phone.
The next morning, the National Guard ambulances, escorted by highway dept Vplows, stopped and picked me up and then went on to pick up my family and several other families. We were taken into town and stayed a few days at my wife's sister's house.
When we got back home the following Tuesday, the dog was still alive and the pipes hadn't frozen. I was very lucky. -- Jack Kagy, Tiffin
In 1978 I was a Toledo Firefighter at #6 Fire Station at Starr and Euclid in East Toledo. Upon arriving at the station my car ended up blocking the street pretty much from curb to curb as I attempted to park it. Eventually with others helping me we got it into the station parking lot. As driver of #6 aerial ladder I hoped that we would not be dispatched on a fire run since all the streets were almost totally blocked. At noon an off duty firefighter/paramedic came to the station to bring food for our meals. All day the fire radio dispatched rescue and fire runs in our district and throughout the city. Thankfully, none of those runs involved my ladder truck. All of the runs dispatched were taking much, much longer for apparatus to arrive on the scene. Even the trucks were becoming stuck in snow drifts. That required the fire crews to leave the apparatus and walk on up to the emergency. When our 24 hour shift was at an end we were told that we were to all stay for an additional 24 hours. It was understood that oncoming personnel would be unable to get to their stations as the storm continued. During my second 24 hour shift my luck ran out and we were dispatched to two alarms in East Toledo. A Blade newspaper photographer took our picture as we attempted to clear the station approaches so that we could be sure that we could respond to fires and other emergencies. -- Dick Buehler TFD, retired.
At the time of the blizzard, I was living in Clyde (in town). My 4 children (ages 9,7,6,& 4) and I were at my parents' house. It was a large duplex. After the power went out I think we were the only house that could still have heat. My Dad knew the furnace would light without electricity. The family in the adjoining house and our family took shifts keeping an eye on the pilot of the gas furnace to be sure it didn't go out and we all die from carbon monoxide poisoning. After about half a day, the elderly lady and her grand-daughter, who lived across the street came over to stay with us. We all had a good time playing games, cooking meals for all to share. My older kids and I, along with one or two of our guests would walk in the street downtown to the grocery, after it was opened, and bought bread milk eggs and hamburger. There was a total of 11 people at our house during the blizzard. My life was about to change and the blizzard was the beginning. -- Karen, Gibsonburg
During the Blizzard of 1978 we lived in Marshall, Michigan where my husband was Pastor of First Baptist Church. We spent several days digging out from the snow. Of course, church was canceled on Sunday morning, so my daughter and a neighbor girl walked around the neighborhood inviting everyone to our house for "church." We had 32 join us for that day of making memories! It was a great time of bonding for the neighbors. -- Linda Morford
I was 14 rys old at the time and my brother and sister and I were asleep upstairs when we were awoke to our freezing bedrooms my father was home from work at Seneca wire in Fostoria after working the afternoon shift I believe when we all three came down and tried to keep warm in my parents bedroom when we found out the furnaces' pilot light had been blown out we were living in rising sun,Ohio at the time we had our travel trailer parked in the driveway and my father and 8 yr old brother went out to the trailer and got in through a emergency escape window at the back corner or the trailer my brother when in through the window unlocked the door for my father and he proceeded the light the furnace in the trailer and we lived in it for about 2 weeks my sister was 11yrs old at the time we had neighbors living next door that was in the same shape as we were so my father brought them of to our trailer and they stayed with us till the blizzard was over and we had power and heat. My Mom was stuck in Fostoria at some relatives till she could get out to rising sun ti took her about a week till she could we lived on stewed tomatoes and other forms of tomatoes for that time. That's the memory of the blizzard I remember the most. -- Glenn Stock, Fostoria
I remember that day!!! We had moved here from New York City. Oct.1977,Three months later, four days after my 13th birthday, ( I was suppose to have a party) we were in Clyde Ohio, No heat Nothing wow what a culture shock, my mother had purchased an old kerosene heater from a garage sale for looks, she tried it got it burning, that's what she heated the house with and cooked on. We had never seen that much snow since we were in the Bronx, and never experience a snow day, that was a snow week!! -- Jennie
I worked midnights at Showcase Lanes on Monroe St. Along with another employee, we were stranded at the lanes for 3 days. I'll always remember watching the snow come down sideways and the huge drift that reached the roof of our building. We stayed open the entire time. We bowled, played pool and watched a lot of television. We slept whenever we could, napping on pool tables, bar stools or behind the machines on a work bench. People would arrive on snowmobiles or on ski's just to come in and bowl or play pool. Since we did not have any food on hand other then the vending machines and the Denny's restaurant across the lot, friends that lived nearby brought us care packages. On the third day, it looked possible for me to attempt to go home. Since the storm began as rain, my car was stuck in several inches of ice. The guys that were plowing our lot took out a chain and bounced my car out. I loaded my Chevy Chevette with over 400 pounds of bowling pins for traction. Talmadge Road was only one lane, with walls of snow on each side. Byrne Road was a little better. I made it to my brothers house in South Toledo with no problem, but became stuck in the snow several times driving the next 3 blocks to my parents house on the same street. -- Brian Burgin
I was 13 years old at the time of the blizzard of 78 and one the best memories that I have of that time was being able to deliver the Blade to my customers on my paper route. The Blade starting printing papers I believe the day after the storm hit and things weather wise settled down. The papers were only delivered to the local "Blade Stations' around town that the Blade trucks could get to. Luckily the one I was assigned to in the Lewis Ave. and Laskey Rd. area was able to receive papers. With the help of a neighbor of ours with a snowmobile. We attached a toboggan to the snowmobile and towed it to the Blade station to get my papers for my route. With the papers in tow on the toboggan, we proceeded to drive down the street delivering the papers to my appox. 105 customers that I had at that time. I even took on extra papers to give the people who did not subscribe to the Blade on my route. Delivering the papers this way went on for 4 or 5 days until the streets started to get cleaned up and everyone started to " dig" themselves out. All of my customers were "Grateful and Very Appreciative" that I could get them the paper under those conditions. It made me feel good knowing that I could help people break up the boredom when you could not really do much at all and TV and radio was no where near what it is today. -- Chris Miller
I was 13 years old when the blizzard struck the Toledo area. I went out shoveling snow for 2-3 days during that storm. I made over $125.00 in 1 day shoveling snow. I did all of my neighbors and my normal customers. I went up and down Sylvania Ave. stopping at Bars to see if anyone wanted a path shoveled to their cars. I had a lot of them give me $5.00 and buy me a Pop and a bag of chips for doing it! "Those were the days". My father just bought a 1978 Jeep CJ7 and he was volunteering, by delivering people to the hospital and food to people snowed in down in Lucky/Haskins area. Channel 11 news even had my father on the news delivering food to those people. I wish you would find that footage again! -- Mike, Lambertville, MI
In 1978 I was six. We lived in Bryan, Oh at the time. We had ventured to Defiance because my father needed hemorroid surgery. Mom took him to the Hospital and then she and I went to my Aunt Donna's to wait for dad. The snow started and just never stoped. Dad called from the hopsital saying they could not let him saty they needed the beds. Mom was about 5-6 months pregnant at that time, and had no way to get him, eventually they sent him home on a snow mobile. Which is funny enough, but mom got hopping mad, that after having been shoveling show for hours, dad ran in and sat down in the hot bath that she had drawn for herself. -- Bob and Wendy
In Waterville, we were without power for several days after the blizzard; I'd be interested in who was actually be to see your broadcast(s) during that day as this was before cable TV. What I was looking for at your website was the footage on the day(s) before the blizzard because we--it was just my mother (who worked fulltime), my sister who was 16 at the time, and myself (the youngest)--were caught off guard. Was this storm predicted? Did my mom just miss it? Thank God we had a fireplace and wood. Tim Riddle -- Waterville
It seems like yesterday to me. I was 32 years old and living in the Colony area. We were blessed to have heat and lights. My sister had to be evacuated from her place with a 2 year old son and husband by the Toledo Police Dept. in a Jeep bomb vehicle. They reluctantly let her take her hermit crab with her. It would have frozen. We volunteered for 2 days delivering food to shut ins. I would trudge thru snow up to my neck with bags of food. My fondest memory was an 85 year old man that thought I was his angel. He cried when he opened the door and saw the food I had brought to him, He invited me in to look inside his refrigerator. He was down to a half of a stick of butter. The only good thing that came out of it was my car was buried and frozen into the snow. The block had cracked so I got a new 1978 Camaro out of it. Thanks for the memories Channel 11. Keep up the good work. -- Mary-Kay McGee
We moved from Toledo to the San Francisco area in Aug. 1977, and on the day of "THE BLIZZARD" we had been walking the beach at Half Moon Bay for the greater part of the day. We had no access to TV, radio etc. and therefore had no knowledge of the weather in Toledo on that particular day. We drove back to our home by mid afternoon, and shortly after arriving there we received a phone call from my wife's sister in Toledo. Without a moment's hesitation, we were given a verbal tongue lashing for being so insensitive as to the safety of her parents, (my wife's parents, my in laws), relative to the fact that they had to be rescued from their home due to the blizzard. They couldn't get their doors open, had little to no food, it was really "tough sledding" for them. It took a while for me to explain that walking on the beach was not a situation that was conducive to worrying about one's in-laws being caught in a blizzard 3000 miles away. Logic finally won out, and all was "COOL". We have joked about it for many years, and all the Blade's and WTOL's" coverage of "The Blizzard" recently, prompted me to drop you this note. It really is funny looking back on that phone call. -- R.B. Peoples, M.D.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the Blizzard of 1998. Our 30th wedding anniversary should have been January 28th, because of the blizzard, my husband missed our wedding day and we had a reception without a groom and without a wedding ceremony. Our anniversary is January 29th.
My husband started a job in Toledo in November 1977. January 26 was a very rainy day and instead of driving in the rain at night (he worked second shift), he decided to get a good nights sleep and leave in the morning. He woke up to three foot of snow and his van would not start. Only emergency vehicles were aloud on the roads and the airport was closed and then on a four hour delay that extended until Sunday. He was on the first flight to Pittsburgh on Sunday.
I lived in Pennsylvania and was busy with the final details of our wedding day. Friday night was our rehearsal, which he missed. Fortunately the reception was at the church, we set up tables and decorated after the rehearsal. We were hoping that the airport would open and he would be able to make it in time. Everyone came to the church, the wedding party (minus the groom) were all dressed. I might be the only bride that wore her wedding dress twice for the same wedding. The pastor announced that the groom was snowed in Toledo, if they would like to attend the wedding on Sunday they could put their name and phone number on a 3x5 card that was handed out and someone would call them and tell the what time the wedding would be. Most of the people that came on Saturday came back on Sunday. Some people that couldn't be there Saturday were able to come on Sunday.
We talked on the phone a lot Thursday to Sunday but we hadn't seen each for six days until I stood at the back of the church ready to walk down the isle. -- Lori & Jim
I was 16 when the blizzard hit. I can remember my dad bowled on Wed nights and when he came home it was raining, but then by morning it was snowing. He tried to go to work and got about 3-4 houses down our street and got stuck. The neighbor tried to help him get unstuck. A few days later, my dad, brothers and neighbors walked down to the store with a sled to get food, etc. I can remember we off school for like a week. Our neighbor across the street worked for the Maumee Mirror at the time, so we had build forts, etc out in the snow and we got our picture in that paper. My best friend lived in Perrysburg Township and they lost power and to stay at the neighbors for 2 days. I think our neighbor who owned a tractor store, got a tractor and plowed our street out, he has done that many times over the years when I lived there. --Denise
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