Remembering the Blizzard of 1978

Full story: WZZM Grand Rapids

By the time the storm passed on January 26th, streets, cars, even homes were buried in the snow.
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41 - 60 of 76 Comments Last updated Jan 28, 2014
Scott Furtney Ludington

United States

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#42
May 23, 2008
 
We had moved the night before the storm. There was no water because the pump for the well was to be fixed the following day. Because of the move we had no food (dry pasta) or telephone and we were 7 miles from town on a state road. Ernie had filled the LP gas the day of the move and we had electricity. With no food or water we set out to the small store 1 mile down the impassable road to obtain some.. They were closed so a stop at our nearest neighbor (half mile) who of course we had never met gave us a 5 gallon pail with water and cigarettes and some food. After our trip we took off our jeans and long johns to find our legs the color orange from walking in 4 foot snow (trudging really). We took turns trying to uncover our cars with one snow shovel and after two days of snow blowing and falling we were successfull and after 2 more days they plowed the street and we were free.
Saammyy

Burlington, Canada

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#43
Jan 16, 2009
 
My dad was in the blizard of 77, he said the snow was as tall as telephone poles!
Dave

Holland, MI

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#44
Jan 26, 2009
 
I was trapped for almost a week because the roads on the south side of Holland where I was staying where so bad that they had to bring in big blowers to clear them. That took over a week. I remmember driving down m-40 in a tunnel. the state brought in blowers from out of state. when they where done. the drive lanes where only 1 lane and half wide. the snow walls where at least 15ft high.It was litterally a tunnel. You would have too look up to see day light.
Debbie

Kalamazoo, MI

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#45
Jan 26, 2009
 
My husband and I were living in an apartment in Kalamazoo. He got up early that day to go do inventory at the store he worked at. He couldn't even find his car. Both of our cars were totally covered. We had to dig them out with shovels but it was several days before we could drive.
Mary B

Grand Rapids, MI

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#46
Jan 26, 2009
 
WOW! We lived on the Grand River near Grand Haven. My husbad was an engineer for Chessie System (CSX) and was snowed out of town - I was snowed in. The best part was how the neighbors came together and helped each other. THAT was a crazy winter! It was the winter that made me move to California!

Since: Jan 09

Charlevoix Mich

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#47
Jan 26, 2009
 
We lived in Williamston and I worked at MSU Physical Plant, senior maint supervisor. Drove my '68 front wheel drive OLDS Toro(1st of front drives) on old M45, picked up fellow eployees on way. About 24" of snow in road and no tracks from Williamston to East Lansing. Made it to MSU office and sent 4wheel drive trucks to pickup maint workers. Remember, even in 1978 MSU was like a city of 100,000 with around 30,000 students in dorms on campus plus all the other bldgs. All kinds of problems: students(now they are 50 yrs old and parents) were jumping out of 2nd floor windows into snow drifts, some forgot about the bike racks/ yes broken legs. Elevators were being diabled by overloading by students, heating sytems were down,power outages, air vent were blocked by 8/10' drifts. All kinds of issues for several days. Where snow was hauled and piled melted in late May. Also the snow in my 36 mile round trip wore off all the rust and even metal on my car exhaust system, needed complete replacement. There was a steady stream of students to Tom's party store. East Lansing was dry at that time. All generations of college students are the same.
Maggie

Grand Rapids, MI

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#48
Jan 28, 2009
 
I was five at the time we where snowed in out at my Grandmothers house in West Olive, MI. She has photos of my brother and I ontop of a 18ft snow drift.
Dar Edmore

Greenville, MI

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#49
Jan 28, 2009
 
When we woke up in the morning we had a snow drift from the peak of the roof on our garage to about 40 feet from the garage and from there to the road and our front yard it was 30 inches deep. I worked at Hitachi then and went to work on my snowmobile. That drift was about 15 feet deep from the garage out on the drive.

“Totally Amazed!”

Since: Feb 08

Grand Rapids

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#50
Jan 31, 2009
 
I remember jumping off the roof of the house into the snow drifts...never found the ground. lol
NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

United States

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#51
Jan 31, 2009
 

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Cary wrote:
I was born jan 25,1978. My dad couldn't make it to the hosptial because our trailor was snowed in. So I went a couple days without a name. I wish i could of seen what it was like. Have never seen a snowfall like that.
Um, look out your window... it's pretty close right now.
amanda perry

Shirley, IN

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#52
May 4, 2009
 
uh, i am doing a report on the blizzard of '78 and this helped me alot thank you
illiniev1

Grand Rapids, MI

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#53
May 4, 2009
 
No school for a week.
Cartoons all week long!
When a kid could be a kid!
What memories!
Nostalgia

AOL

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#54
May 4, 2009
 
My hubby was working in the Kent County Controller's office on the day of the blizzard of '78. They told everyone to go home but he in his infinite wisdom decides to stay and get a little more work done. He took the bus to work that day and well, he missed the last bus. He had no choice but to return to the office. All restaurants closed down...so no food, and no heat in the empty building. He took the drapes down from the windows to keep warm while he slept on a couch in his office. We kept in touch by phone but I was unable to get out to get him. The next day he struck out on foot for home, hoping to catch a ride..noone but noone came by him in the 8 miles he walked to get home. It was bitter cold. He had to shovel his way into the house.
I hope we never see another blizzard like that in my lifetime.
Sam Danigelis

Ardmore, AL

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#55
Jan 2, 2010
 
I remember this storm well. I was in high school. We lived near Wolf Lake, east of Muskegon. My dad, brother, and I went out to shovel the parking area for our cars. After a while, my dad, who isn't a quitter, told us to call it quits, and we went inside. A couple days later, when the snow finally stopped, we had a stepladder in the front yard that was barely visible. The whole city shut down, and people got around on foot. We were out of school for days, what an adventure!

Since: Jun 08

Fennville, Mich

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#56
Jan 3, 2010
 
I was 15 at the time, lived in Waukazoo Woods in Holland, remember cross country skiing to little meijers up and down hills in the road, only to notice an anntena sticking up about an inch, those hills were cars stuck in the road. after all was said and done, riding down M-40, 140 foot banks on each sides.
Bev

Allegan, MI

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#57
Jan 26, 2010
 
School closed for more than a week.
Made popcorn every day.
Played Crazy 8's and monopoly late into the night every night.
Mom made bread and rationed the milk.
Shoveled our way out to the barn to do chores.
A farmer with a BIGGER tractor than ours plowed us out along with plowing the road for the milk truck.
It was a blast!! Good memories! I probably wouldn't feel the same if we had a blizzard like that now!

Since: Sep 08

Muskegon

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#58
Jan 26, 2010
 
I was a senior in high school in Muskegon. Snowed in for a week in a two bedroom house with my parents and sister. I had a car, which actually ended up covered in snow. My dad walked to the gas station for milk after a few days, and he's really lucky he didn't get stuck in the snow, because he didn't stay on the road.

“love, loyalty, friendship”

Since: Sep 08

Dutchville

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#59
Jan 26, 2010
 
I remember my Dad and I taking a snowmobile to Joe's Grocery in Yankee Springs for milk and bread. The snow was so deep- it was halfway up the windows and it took all morning to get the door opened.
joemamma

Detroit, MI

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#60
Jan 26, 2010
 
Jeta1 wrote:
I was 15 at the time, lived in Waukazoo Woods in Holland, remember cross country skiing to little meijers up and down hills in the road, only to notice an anntena sticking up about an inch, those hills were cars stuck in the road. after all was said and done, riding down M-40, 140 foot banks on each sides.
140 foot banks ??? Typo maybe ???

Since: Sep 08

Muskegon

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#61
Jan 26, 2010
 

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joemamma wrote:
<quoted text>
140 foot banks ??? Typo maybe ???
Those of us who were teens back then, this is part of those stories you tell your children. I walked 5 miles to school, uphill both ways, etc. Or it's a typo. The snow banks were really high. There are pictures in my senior yearbook.

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