Monday, January 26, 2009

Memories of the Blizzard of 1978 in RI

I grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island during the 1970's and 1980's. As promised, I thought that I would share some of my treasured memories.

I'm starting with the eventful memory from the Blizzard of 1978. I cannot even imagine going through this as an adult but it was great as a kid. We were out of school for 2 weeks. We lost electricity for quite awhile. Snow fell from Feb. 5-8 with the total accumulation being 55 inches. WOW!!! No wonder I could build a snow fort and tunnels.

I remember watching my dad get picked up for work in a snow mobile and seeing him disappear out of site. My mom stood in that window for a long time just looking out. My dad was an electrician for Narragansett Electric, the main power company in RI. He was gone for a long time.

There were cars under there? Holy cow, I still can see in my mind's eye the bulldozers removing snow from our road and seeing trapped cars appear. They were under all that snow lined up down the road. These were not parked cars people. These had been cars driving down the road that became trapped by the rapid fall of snow and had to be abandoned.

My mom took my sister and me in our sled down the road to my grandmother's. What an adventure it was. We were walking down the main road and getting rides in the sled. My grandma lived only 1 mile away. We warmed up at grandma's in front of the fireplace then we walked another mile down the road to the local grocery store. The groceries were placed in our sled and we started back. My younger sister whined about walking. She was 6 and I'm sure with all the winter gear that 4 miles was a stretch. I remember being tired by the end but it was exciting.

I've never really seen a snow like that since. I came close when I lived up in ND but never all at once. Even when I lived in NH, we got 3 blizzards within 2 weeks but we had fair warning and time to clean up in between each. In fact, I nearly lost my second child at the age of 1 in the NH snow. He was walking along and then he was gone. The snow just collapsed under him - all 3 feet. Screams galore and snow boots stuck behind as I pulled him out. I'm horrible, I was laughing. I had never seen anything so funny. He just disappeared but I knew he was fine.

So, there is my Blizzard of 1978 memory. It was a big storm and still effects those with a memory of it up in the northeast. Just ask someone from there about it. You can read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeastern_United_States_blizzard_of_1978.

Colleen Degnan Johnson
CMJ Office

1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

I remember that storm! I was in Boston at the time. For a kid from Southern California and Texas, it was amazing.