SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s sometimes referred to as “the week the state stood still”, and it was caused by a historic blizzard that slammed into New England 36 years ago.
From February 5th through the 7th the Blizzard of ’78 paralyzed parts of New England, especially Massachusetts.
“It took us forever to get from Springfield, State and Maple. We finally got out we ended up getting stuck a mile from our house. We ended up having to leave the car and walk home,” said Hugh McBride of Feeding Hills.
Fourteen and a half inches of snow fell in the Springfield area during the storm.
Even though the Blizzard of ‘78 was bad here in western Massachusetts it was a lot worse in the eastern part of the state.
“I come from the Boston area my relatives were basically unable to move my dad was an M.D. in Winthrop and the local hospital came and got him on a snowmobile to take him to the hospital so he could work,” said Philip Traunstein of Granby.
Both Boston and Providence, Rhode Island reported over 27 inches of snow.
Strong winds along with heavy snow caused white-out conditions and travel became nearly impossible. Route 128 became a virtual parking lot with over 3,000 vehicles stuck on the highway.
The combination of strong northeast winds and the slow moving storm caused serious beach erosion and coastal flooding.
In all 73 people died in Massachusetts as a result of the blizzard with damage estimates upwards to around $500 million dollars.