Saturday, January 30, 2010

Post your blizzard memories here! Where were you during the blizzard of '77?

The Great Blizzard of '77.

Residents of southern Niagara and western New York had never witnessed such a ferocious winter storm. Most likely, they will never witness one like it again. It was unprecedented.. unchartered.. unbelievable..

It came in an instant, yet its memories have lasted for ever.

Southern Niagara and Western New York are familiar with lake effect snow storms, but they usually only last a few hours to a day or so , dumping heavy snow and causing travel problems. But the blizzard of '77 was unlike anything southern Niagara had ever experienced before. It was the result of an unprecedented series of circumstances coming together to produce one of the worst winter storms in Niagara's history. A record cold winter, record deep snow and a powerful long-lasting storm system combined to produce this infamous storm that will forever be part of Niagara weather history.

This blog is to share your stories about the great storm. Where we you when it happened? How did it affect you? Let us know.. comment on the blog and I'll add entries to my website.

As for me, I was a Grade 9 student at Centennial high school in Welland Ontario when the storm hit. They closed the school around lunchtime or early afternoon, and we got to go home early. Luckily for my brothers and me, we lived within walking distance of our home, as did most kids. So we got home OK and spent the next 4 days marooned at home... listening to local radio station CHOW with all their emergency broadcasting. For many school kids who relied on bus transportation, they were stuck at school for several days before they could be rescued. There was no way for buses to reach the schools as roads become clogged with stuck cars, marooned by the zero visibility and heavy drifting. Snowmobiles became the primary life line and transportation mode that weekend, ferrying hundreds of students and stranded motorists to their loved ones. The storm finally ended on the Tuesday, but school was canceled for the entire week before the region could struggle back to normal again.

There have been bad snowstorms since.. but never anything to rival the ferocity and suddenness of the Blizzard of '77. Were you there?