Although the Blizzard of '78 is well-remembered by many, the Blizzard of '77 was nothing to sneeze at either. (Well, maybe it was at that.)
Strangely enough, the Blizzard of '77 was within a few days of being almost exactly a year before the more infamous storm. The big difference is that the Blizzard of '77 hit during a natural gas shortage.
In its Friday, January 28 1977 edition, the Journal reported that "Plants and schools throughout the Golden Crescent already brought to their knees by gas cutbacks and the worst winter weather in memory, were dealt a knockout blow today as another blast of arctic air swept the state."
The paper noted it was going to get worse, nothing that "The National Weather Service today issued a blizzard warning for all of Ohio, calling for two to three inches or more of snow and winds up to 45 miles an hour with temperatures plummeting as low as 15 below tonight."
Governor James Rhodes declared an energy crisis and urged all non-essential businesses to close, and ordered state workers to leave work early. All schools in Lorain, Erie and Huron counties were closed, with the exception of Marion Steel High School in Amherst.
By the time the Saturday paper was published, the storm was already referred to as the Blizzard of 1977. The lead article by Staff Writer Tom Ferris stated "The first blizzard to hit the state in years has virtually closed down the Golden Crescent, already reeling from 41 straight days without a temperature above freezing. And the weatherman predicts this may be the coldest weekend of your life."
The paper went on to state that the temperature had stayed at a record low 11 below zero here from 9 p.m. Friday night to 5 a.m. Saturday.
I remember this storm, since I was a senior at Admiral King High School at the time. There wasn't a lot of snow, but it was frightfully cold and the basketball game was cancelled.
Incidentally, the two Journals shown above were ones that my parents saved all these years. After re-reading them to get the scoop for this blog, there's just one thing I want to know: whatever happened to the "Today's Chuckle" feature on the front page?
We sure could use it these days.