Looking back at the worst blizzard in Ohio history
The worst blizzard in state history struck 45 years ago this week, knocking out power across Ohio and forcing then-President Jimmy Carter to declare a state of emergency.
Flashback: Residents suffered from wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour, wind chills of 60 degrees below zero and snow drifts a whopping 25 feet deep.
- Fifty-one Ohioans lost their lives in the 1978 storms.
- Because most roads were closed, the state recorded no traffic crash deaths over an entire weekend for the first time in decades.
Threat level: Civilians with four-wheel drive vehicles helped Ohio National Guard service members search for stranded drivers, clear off roads and deliver supplies.
- Hundreds were rescued along a six-mile stretch of I-70 west of Columbus alone. One truck driver near Mansfield was rescued after six days under a mound of snow.
- OSU nursing students volunteered at a local psychiatric hospital after only four of 215 workers showed up for their shifts.
What they said: "Unfortunately it takes the worst of nature to bring out the best in people," The Lantern student newspaper opined in the storm's aftermath.
- "But the BEST of you did turn out to help and did a splendid job."
📬 Did you experience the Great Blizzard of 1978?
- Reply with your memories for us to share in an upcoming newsletter.
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