‘We dug a tunnel out our front door’: Sharing memories of the 1978 blizzard

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‘We dug a tunnel out our front door’: Sharing memories of the 1978 blizzard

Forty years ago this week, a massive blizzard blasted the region. 

Many in the Miami Valley shared their memories of that storm on WHIO StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell’s Facebook page. 

Here is a sampling of those memories: 

Lori Beane Herb: Drove my Dad's new car to school that day. Left Gahanna Lincoln High school for a drama performance at a elementary school with my drama teacher, Mrs Dodrill. Started snowing while we were there. We got to the curve on Clottes Rd and slid right into a truck. Totalled the car and Mrs. Dodrill was injured. When I called home the first thing my Dad said was.... I can't believe you wreaked my car. It was hell being snowed in with him. 

North Dixie Drive in Vandalia, Jan. 27, 1978.

Kathy Feasel Doughty: We were in the middle of that blizzard in Delaware County, Ohio. Lived on State Route 36/37. My children and I were rescued from our country home. It took two men and a jeep over 45 minutes to get from the road to our door then to take us 2 houses down. We knew the neighbors to our west and they called and had us call their neighbor. We had only lived there about 3 weeks and my husband was out on the road as a truck driver. So we met some awesome friends and their young teenagers 4 of them. They had a huge wood burning stove that kept us warm for days. Will never forget them and all the LOVE they gave us. Three days later my husband could get thru and get us back home! 

Brian Stewart: Dug a tunnel out our front door, just to walk over top our house to dig a tunnel to our back door lol. Walked right over the roof. 

Dee Orange: We had snowmobiles and we delivered groceries to stranded folks and milk for babies. We enjoyed the experience. 

The son of John and Nancy Tenjeras enjoys a nap at the Greyhound Station. Schools, churches, and municipal buildings were often used as makeshift shelters during the blizzard OF 1978. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Charlie Talmadge: That was a storm. Nowadays they think 12 inches is a storm and everything shuts down. Wimps! 

Susan M Keefer: I remember well my first son was a blizzard baby 

Peggy Gerds: No, no, no. . . . Don't even suggest a repeat of that! We survived the Blizzard of '78: Cops picked us up at home and drove us to the hospital where we worked -- where food for patients, staff, and visitors was being rationed. Hospital told us we were not allowed to leave, but those of us who needed to care for others and pets at home left anyway, after someone with a relative who is an attorney found out we could not be legally detained. Took just over 5 hours to get home. Recovery after the first 48 hours was slow but doable.

Andy Denniston, Lisa Jones, and James Howard, all of Dayton, enjoy a much deserved break in their homemade igloo during the 1978 blizzard. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Brian Short: I lived on a farm in Darke County. I was 10 years old. We were without electric for over a week. I remember walking to a neighbors house to check on them during the blizzard. The snow left small cuts on my face. Out drifts were high enough to get on our barn roof and sled off the roof and down the drift. That Blizzard taught me to live prepared. 

Mary L Rosebrook: Remember this well. Left work soon after arriving because advised it will get much worse. Made it to Raymond and followed snow plow to my road. He said he could not make it to my house so stayed with a wonderful neighbor from Friday til Sunday and the county was able to make a pathway on my road. Thankful we did not lose power and stayed good and warm while watching Ohio State Basketball.

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