‘I’ll never forget it’: Monday marks 45th anniversary of historic Blizzard of 1978

·2 min read

Forty-five years ago, to the day, a historic blizzard rocked the Northeast, leaving Boston and surrounding suburbs paralyzed for a week.

“We had to dig our way out of our back door, which was not even ground level. Out of school for two weeks, National Guard lining the roads from Danvers into Peabody, and Salem. We walked the route to check on my grandmother. I’ll never forget it,” a Boston 25 follower recalled.

From Feb. 6, 1978, through Feb. 7, the storm buried Boston with 27 inches of snow. At the time it was the highest snowfall total in the city‘s history. Communities in the storm’s jackpot zone had to dig out from more than 30 inches of snow.

Thousands of people were left stranded on roads and highways across Massachusetts because the storm had not yet arrived by the time people left their homes to go to work and school.

“I left Squantum at 3 p.m., the old Jordan Marsh warehouse, and it took 5.5 hours to drive home to Foxboro. Completely missed Rte. 95 off of 128 and ended up taking Rte. 1 near Dedham. Foxboro was one of the jackpot snow total locations,” another Boston 25 follower recalled.

More than a dozen people died from exhaust poisoning when they became trapped in their vehicles on Interstate 95.

“The cars were just lumps in the snow,” another follower said.

Hockey fans who gathered at the Boston Garden for the annual Beanpot tournament as the blizzard thumped outside spent days living in the arena in the aftermath of the storm.

Although the snowfall was less of an issue along the immediate coast, the tides were devastating. At its peak, the ocean rose 15.2 feet above mean low water, according to the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

Major tidal flooding and crashing waves wreaked havoc on coastal homes, roads, and infrastructure.

In total, 99 people died during the storm and thousands of houses and businesses were destroyed or severely damaged.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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