The Blizzard of 78


I was eight years old when the Blizzard of 78 struck Massachusetts 30 years ago in February of 1978. It was akin to a snow hurricane that got "stuck" over southern New England. My father was trapped in Boston for several days before he could drive home. An aunt and uncle were among thousands trapped in cars along Route 128 west of the city. At eight, it was all fun and games for me. I can remember a warren of tunnels neighbor kids and I built in our front yards. The YouTube video above is an interesting retrospective on the event, albeit with an admittedly annoying voiceover. [Link to Boston Globe page with links to other accounts and photos of the storm].

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Was 7 years old in Cambridge and we dug tunnels up and down the street in order to get around - later on igloos. At the end of our block snow plows created huge mountains of snow against a 3 story building. Dangerous fun to climb.
I also remember going to Star market with my mom and we used my old sled to pull the groceries home. Boy it was a cold, memorable event.
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Christophe:

I live down here in Kingston. I have a number of friends who live in Manomet.

The Lobster Pound is indeed still there - and you're absolutely correct, it's a great place to watch a Nor'easter.
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Freshman year, MIT. Went to the top of the "crow's nest" atop the MIT Greene Building and watched snow falling in sensurround, as it were.

Classes were delayed several days. Played Risk.
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I was in the Navy and stationed on-board the USS Tinosa at the time. We were at the sub base in New London getting ready for a deployment to the Caribbean, I was staying in port to attend a school on the base. At noon I relieved the watch topside (an armed guard stationed on the dock next to the boat to check IDs for those requesting access) and it was bright and sunny, just jacket weather. The watch was suppose to be 4 hours but it did not turn out that way. As topside watch I was required to inform the Duty Officer (DO) of any changes in conditions topside. At 1400 or so, I made the call below to inform the DO that it had started to snow. At about 1500 I once again called below to inform him that the snow was now several inches deep and the wind was picking up. He then came topside to see for himself and was surprised to see such a rapid accumulation. I was no longer dressed for the weather and said that he would have my heavier jacket sent up (it never arrived). I expected to be relieved at 1600 but he did not show either and was told that they were looking for the isolation suits (bright orange suit that would compare to snowmobile suits) for the on coming watch. At 1700 the Captain arrived and asked why I assumed the watch without being properly attired for it. I explained what was happening and as he left he said he would have it taken care of. He did.....the DO came topside and informed me that the Captain told him to get the on coming watch topside or stand the watch himself but I MUST be relieved NOW. The next watch stander came out of the hatch, properly attired at that time and relieved me.

The Captain then ordered all personnel to remain on board, had those who had left recalled and those who were not leaving in the am to depart. I left the boat and went to the barracks where I spent the next week waiting for the snow to end and for the snow to be cleared (the base had been closed for 4 days). Luckily for me the Enlisted Mess was in the building next door, I only had to climb through 48" of snow to get there.

Two weeks later I met up with the Tinosa in Florida, the weather.....85 degrees and sunny!
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I lived in Waltham and the people there remembered more vividly the Route 128 blocade. Seeing the pictures shows that the real hurt was on the coast.

Speaking of the coast, there is a picture of the Lobster Pound (at 7:00), on Manomet Point, south of Plymouth. Beside fish and seafood, they had the best New England clam showder.
I just checked : their web site site is down. Are they still there? I hope so for if I return in NE, this is where I'll go first!
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