Blizzard of 1978: 36 years ago this week

CLEVELAND - During the week of Jan. 26, 1978, a major blizzard struck Ohio and the Great Lakes.

Ohio, as well as several surrounding states, was shut down for a week.

As OhioHistory.org describes it: "The worst winter storm in Ohio history struck before dawn on Thursday, January 26, 1978. The Blizzard of ’78 continued through Thursday and into Friday. Transportation, business, industry, and schools were closed statewide for two days with the normal pace of society not returning to the state for five days. Atmospheric pressure fell to 28.28 inches at Cleveland, the lowest ever recorded in Ohio, as the center of the blizzard crossed Ohio. This rapidly intensifying storm pulled bitterly cold air across Ohio on winds of 50 to 70 mph. These conditions, combined with heavy snow and blowing of deep snow already on the ground, caused extreme blizzard conditions all across Ohio. Enormous snowdrifts covered cars and houses, blocked highways and railways, and closed all airports for two days."

While more than 5,000 members of the Ohio National Guard worked tirelessly to clear roads and help electric crews, 45 helicopters went on more than 2,700 rescue missions. Volunteers took stranded doctors and nurses to area hospitals on snowmobiles and four-wheel drive vehicles.

A total of 51 people died, making the Blizzard of 1978 the deadliest winter storm in Ohio.

Where were you when the blizzard hit? What are your memories of that historic storm? Tell us in the comment section below or on our Facebook page .

Here are a few that were posted minutes after this story:

“Trying like heck to get up green road at cedar, which is not a big hill, And just spinning my tires and getting nowhere fast. ;)” –Scott Simon

“Yes my daughter was born!!!” –Beverly Custer Reichbaum

“Living in Akron, National Guard called out......tried to leave, thank God for the Army National Guard Troops!” – Dar Howser

“Yes, I was living in Cincy OH I was in Jr high. I also walked across the frozen Ohio River!!!!! The blizzard made me appreciate the lovely snow!!!!” –Lysa Layne Stanton

“Cabin fever and lots of days off school. Too much snow and too cold to be outside.” –Susan Conley Mellen

“Wasn't born but just asked my mom and she called it the white hurricane.” –Anne Krisko Seiff

“I was 4 months old. But my mom told me stories about power going out and using blankets to close off a room and trying to keep it warm for me.” –Kelley Kaminski West

“I remember the wind. We put blankets up at the windows in the kitchen to try to keep the cold air out. In the week after people were selling t-shirts ‘I survived the blizzard of 78.’” –Janet Wagoner

“I remember that Don Webster was right on about the time that the storm would arrive accross to area. The green lightening was wild that I saw here in Mansfield.” –Paula Harman

"Remember it well, walked home from work 5 miles, got home and could not see my garage doors there were drifts that covered them both." -Tom Vavrek

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