Talk:Northeastern United States blizzard of 1978

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This article needs a better title. Something that refers to the geographical location of the blizzard. Theresa Knott (ask the rotten) 21:45, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Inconsistent citing of total deaths[edit]

This article cites 2 dramatically different figures for total number of deaths caused by this storm. I don't know the correct figure, but the article should be corrected by someone who has accurate info on the total number of deaths. The two figures cited are (shown in context in order of their appearance in the article):

- Storm formation: "Because of this high pressure area, the blizzard was effectively trapped over New England. Over 3,000 people were killed."

- Aftermath and recovery: "2,500 houses were reported seriously damaged or destroyed, and 17 people were killed."

As a resident of Rhode Island who survived this blizzard with my wife and three young children I can tell you that this was a storm that we will never forget. It's like everybody knows where they were when President Kennedy was assasinated. I remember milk going up three times what it normally sold for in variety stores who's owners gouged the people who needed it.

I had to walk a mile in deep snow after my vehicle could no longer move in the deep snow. In one way though, it was beautiful. I was amazed at how quiet it was immediatly after the snow stopped falling. It was almost eirie. Soon we started hearing the buzzing of snowmobiles who were going around helping the elderly, taking doctors and nurses to hospitals, bringing bread and milk to families with small children. By the way, this bread and milk thing has become a symbol of RI when a big storm is forecast to move up the coast. To this day, 27 years later, we still feel the need to run out and buy milk and bread, even if we don't need it.

It was amazing how everyone pulled together to help each other. We have not experienced anything like it since although the blizzard of 2005 was really close except it only left three to four feet of snow instead of the four to six feet found on level ground (and this didn't include drifts).

Also, there was nowhere near 3,000 people killed. It was amazing that it was only a handful. Nevertheless, the site of huge earthmoving machines like payloaders being used to clear the streets was quite a site. They had come from Canada, Buffalo NY, and all over the northeast. I never did thank those who helped us out in those days so today I am taking this opportunity to thank all of you who provided confort, warmth, and generosity to us as victims of this blizzard. --68.9.164.23 03:57, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Location clarification[edit]

For those who want to identify the site where thousands of vehicles were stranded along Route 128, I added info including the facts that the freeway is now signed as Interstate 93 (MA-128 was decommissioned there in the 1990s...in 1978, although I-93 had already routed there as of a couple years prior, the road back then was still primarily Route 128 in an offcial sense. This is no longer the case), and that the infamous "Exit 64N" to Route 138 North is now signed as "Exit 2B".

--EmiOfBrie, 9/14/05 17:28 CDT

The new highway designation is actually I-95. I-93 intersects I-95 and exists as a separate highway. I have changed this section from I-93 to I-95. Denyba (talk) 14:32, 3 February 2008 (UTC)


It is important to determine what is meant by the line: "(this section of highway is now I-93/US 1. The "Exit 64N" in the famous pictures of this incident is now Exit 2B)." I-93 and US 1 intersect in Charlestown, not in the 128 corridor. Exit 2B is south of Boston and is at the confluence of I-93 and SR 138. Where is this place of which you wrote?

Denyba (talk) 14:36, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I think he's talking about the southern intersection of these 3 routes in Brantree. 66.31.78.14 (talk) 17:58, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Worcester, MA, Conditions during and after[edit]

The local Civil Defense set up emergency phones in the basement of Lincoln Auditorium. We dispatched National Guard deuce and a halfs to bring doctors, nurses and patients to hospitals. Groceries were delivered by snowmobile. WPI's college cafeteria was staffed by a few heroic souls that fed hundreds of extra people. Snow drifts averaged fifteen feet, but ocassionally got to twenty five feet. Most of this snow was still in piles when the St. Patrick's day storm hit burying Worcester again. some cars parked on side streets were not free of snow and ice until April.

Do you have any sources for this information (internetm, book, newspaper, etc.)? Information I've been able to find so far is quite sparse. I'm actually a WPI student myself, nice to hear from someone from the neighborhood. -Runningonbrains 00:54, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

bread and milk[edit]

I think it's quite silly to say that this storm was responsible for "bread and milk runs". People had been doing this for a long time before this storm. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.233.240.242 (talk) 12:43, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

That was my exact thought. People in the Washington D.C. area at least have long done this any time a storm approaches. Bread, milk, and toilet paper, to be precise. :-) I think this should be removed from the article unless somebody has a source that shows the tradition did in fact start after this storm. Fool4jesus (talk) 18:52, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Commented it out for now instead of outright deleting it, but there are no citations and it seems ridiculous. CSZero (talk) 02:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Deleted CSZero (talk) 17:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Conditions before the storm[edit]

One of the things that made the blizzard have such a huge impact was that there had been another storm, a near-blizzard, that had dumped (iirc) between 1 and 2 feet of snow shortly before the blizzard. [1] claims that it was 21 inches and that the storm was Jan 20, 1978. So snow removal was hampered by there already being large amounts of snow on the ground, and storm surges were made worse by such crazy amounts of snow on the ground. Rmd1023 (talk) 13:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

I had no idea that was considered a near-blizzard in Boston, but for those of us in New York City and Long Island, it was a blizzard. Plus, there was an ice storm in betweeen the two blizzards. ----DanTD (talk) 20:55, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
As I recall, these accounts of prior storms are correct. I lived in Maynard, MA and remember using snowshoes to walk over featureless, flat snow underneath which my VW Beetle was completely buried. I walked over to the headquarters of Digital Equipment Corporation where I found the buildings closed for the first time in DEC history and several guards stuck there, snowed in. David Spector 19:33, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
There was some weather-nerd-level requirement for something to officially be a "blizzard" that wasn't met. Don't recall what offhand. Certainly it was a whole lot of snow - I remember helping a relative recover a car he'd had to abandon during the first storm. Rmd1023 (talk) 19:40, 27 May 2013 (UTC)