Boston Stations Remember Blizzard of ’78

By Kevin Eck 

Wednesday marked the thirty five year anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78 when New England was hit hard by foul winter weather killing 100 people and injuring thousands.

This week, Boston TV stations have been taking a looking back at the snowstorm by which they say all snowstorms are measured while they keep an eye on another blizzard expected to hit the area Friday.

WHDH, the Boston NBC affiliate, FOX owned WFXT and CBS owned WBZ all focused on the differences between then and now, making the point that technology has advanced far enough to help residents avoid the problems presented in 1978. You can watch the report from WHDH after the jump.


In his report, WFXT’s Kevin Lemanowicz said New Englanders blew off warnings about the blizzard because a snowstorm earlier in the month had been poorly forecast. Lemanowicz points out the computer models of today are a far cry from the paper maps of 1978. Weather forecasters thought the snow would begin falling at dawn on February 5, 1978, instead it came mid-morning. “And when we turn back the clock thirty five years and look how they predicted it,” Lemanowicz pointed out. “It’s amazing the forecast was even this close.”

In his 5:00 p.m. report, WBZ reporter Joe Joyce also recounted how residents were skeptical of the forecast at the time and how surprised they were when the storm brought snowfall of three to four inches an hour. Joyce also covered the flooding and subsequent evacuation of New England’s coastal areas.

Boston’s ABC affiliate, WCVB, took another approach to the story.  Reporter Jorge Quiroga covered Boston Globe photographer Bill Brett‘s trek through the blizzard in the stills he took that day.  Brett remembered being chauffeured around on a “borrowed” snowmobile (he didn’t know his driver had stolen it at the time) and being in a helicopter that made an emergency landing in a police station parking lot. The station also posted a gallery of stills from the Blizzard of ’78 on its website.

Here’s the WHDH story: