The Blizzard of ’77

People in the Northeast are still reeling from "bomb cyclone" that dropped 50 inches of snow in some areas over the holiday weekend, but it's not the worst that area has ever seen. If you were alive in 1977, it’s likely you can remember where you were when the “Blizzard of ’77” hit at the end of January. The snowfall during the storm was minimal, but the winds blowing off frozen Lake Erie blew around the 60 inches of snow already on the ground to create snowdrifts. Although Western New York and Southern Ontario felt the brunt of the storm’s wrath, most people associate the city of Buffalo, New York, with the notorious blizzard. Getting just 4-5 inches of snow is enough to wreck your day, but imagine what it was like getting 100 inches of the white stuff. Kids gleefully climbed snowbanks to stand on the roofs of their houses, and the reward was getting to slide down on a trash can lid. Unfortunately, there was a price to pay for the storm. At least 9 people were found buried in their cars, while others had heart attacks attempting to shovel the snow. Car accidents took even more lives, to the point where a travel ban was issued. The storm cost the area economic losses in the neighborhood of $221 million, which includes $36 million in lost wages for city residents. Buffalo made the news around the world because of the photos that resulted from the storm. People were stuck on roads for hours, babies were delivered at home because ambulances couldn’t get down the streets, the power went out in homes across the area, and families huddled together for warmth. Buffalo had approximately 59 inches of snow from the storm, and after hours of using equipment to clear the snow, workers had no place to put it. Extreme weather is a fact of life, but some events stand out in people’s memories more than others. The Blizzard of ’77 is one of them.