5 things you should know about the Great Blizzard of 1978

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5 things you should know about the Great Blizzard of 1978

  • Story Highlights
  • The Great Blizzard of 1978 dropped more than a foot of snow on the region on Jan. 26, 1978.
  • More than 40 inches of snow fell in the month, making even the simplest tasks almost impossible.

The Great Blizzard of 1978 struck the region with force on Jan. 26, 1978, when more than a foot of snow fell on the region, setting a single-day record that still stands.

Here are five things you should know about the event and its aftermath:

Fourth and Main Street in Downtown Dayton, February 6, 1978. Dayton Daily News archive

1. The area record for single-day snowfall was part of the blizzard. On Jan. 26, 12.2 inches of snow fell on the region, which remains a single-day record. Second place on that list is 11.5 inches, which fell on Dec. 22, 2004.

2. Many people had trouble doing the most basic things. The massive snowfall of Jan. 26 was part of more than 40 inches of snow in the month, which created snowdrifts up to 25 feet high.

3. Traveling was a significant challenge. As one example, the Miami University basketball team was returning from a game in Toledo and couldn't make it past Vandalia, so the team stayed in the Vandalia city jail.

A delivery truck plows it way down Fourth Street in the early morning blizzard.

4. Dozens died from the events. The death toll from this storm climbed to more than 70 people, with 51 of those deaths in Ohio.

5. Mail couldn't be delivered for the first time in 65 years. The great 1913 flood was the last time the postal service failed to do regular rounds.

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