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

Nearly three decades ago we were blanketed with 27 inches of snow. What do you remember about that memorable storm?

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) 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.

Related Topics: Blizzard of '78 We would love to hear your stories from the Blizzard of '78 and see your photos. You can upload your photos directly to our image gallery and share with us your memories and stories of the big storm.

Smoove D February 09, 2012 at 12:03 AM
I had just finished a big exam in college - they wouldn't reschedule. Got stranded when my car got stuck (and died forever) on the way home. A nice family let me into their home so I could warm up/make phone call - got a ride from a tow-truck driver to a Howard-Johnson's where I spent the next day or so sleeping in a booth. Wow.
Diane E. Peterson February 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM
A day after the "storm" I was walking up my street, a man yelled out his window to tell me to get off his car!!! The only thing recognizable of being a car was his antenna was sticking out of the snow!!!!
t February 06, 2013 at 12:58 AM
i was 15 and lived on west park st in brockton ,me and my brothers could jump out the second floor window into the snow that drifted up against the house,we walked up chestnut st to the old store 24 and people were just in the store taking stuff my brother grabbed some pampers and left a five dollar bill on the counter and a man said hey why you leaving that money there and my brother replied because the store is not open dosent mean we can pay ..learned a valuable lesson that day,but i remember there was no school for like 2 weeks it was the greatest time in a kids life back then nothing but mountains of snow to play in..
t February 06, 2013 at 12:59 AM
meant cant pay not can
t February 06, 2013 at 01:00 AM
we need another storm like that ..i would love it..

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