The storm pummeled Ohio on Jan. 26, 1978, claiming more than 50 lives.
The storm initially began as rain falling during unseasonably warm weather, but quickly changed o heavy snow during the pre-dawn hours as arctic air rolled in, leading to frequent whiteouts and zero visibility during the day.
The severe blizzard was the equivalent of a hurricane on land during the winter. Winds gusting up to 100 miles per hour caused drifts that nearly buried some homes. Snow drifts of 10 to 20 feet made travel virtually impossible. Wind chill values fell to minus-60 degrees across much of Ohio.
More than 50,000 members of the Ohio National Guard were called in to make numerous rescues. Police asked citizens who had four-wheel drive vehicles and snowmobiles to transport doctors to the hospital. From Jan. 26 to 27, the entire Ohio Turnpike was shut down. The total effect on transportation in Ohio was described by Major General James C. Clem of the Ohio National Guard as comparable to a nuclear attack.
Were you alive and in Ohio during the Blizzard of '78? If so, please share your memories and pictures with the Norwalk Reflector by emailing [email protected] or sending them in the mail to 61 E. Monroe St., Norwalk, Ohio 44857. If you mail pictures and want them back, please include the return address on the back. The submission deadline is Thursday, Jan. 18.
We will publish some of the pictures and memories during the anniversary week (Jan. 22-27).