The Blizzard of 1978


It was the worst storm to ever hit northwest Ohio. Between January 26 and January 29, 1978, 12 inches of snow fell on the sleepy towns of northwest Ohio. But it wasn’t the accumulation that was a problem. Winds gusted at 60 miles per hour, and the temperature dropped to around 11 degrees. The Blizzard of ’78 chronicles how countless lives were disrupted and how some were lost.

The storm caught many residents off guard. The night before it started many people thought of the incoming storm as just another winter disturbance – certainly nothing to worry about. But upon awaking the next morning, it was all too apparent, this was not a typical storm.

Gas, electric, and telephone service was lost in many areas and the storm was preventing city and utility workers from getting service restored. People fought for anything and everything to stay warm; some even tore apart and burned furniture in their effort to have some heat. Some people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning by using outdoor grills indoors for heat.

As is ofter the case, amid the horrific conditions, there are tales of heroism and humor along with the tragedy. The Blizzard of ’78 tells these stories through firsthand accounts, home movies and archival photographs.


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