Great blizzards I have known—and a great giveaway!


NYS Thruway, Buffalo, Blizzard of 77, courtesy Buffalo State Courier Express archives

It was a cold gray morning in Lockport, New York. I was waiting on the verge of route 78 for the bus that would take me to Buffalo, specifically SUNY College at Buffalo, where I was a sophomore. Suddenly, my mother’€™s car pulled up next to where I was standing and she leaned out: “You’re not going today. I don’€™t like the looks of this.”€ The day she didn’€™t like the looks of? Friday, January 28, 1977.

In front of our house in 2001

And so, unlike many of my college friends, I was not stranded in some cool (or uncool) place in Buffalo for days as the entire Western New York area was buried under snowdrifts, 68 mile-an-hour wind gusts blew people down the city streets, and all transportation other than on foot or via snowmobile basically stopped. For well over a week almost everything was closed. My family was safe at home, if a bit bored. We did manage to struggle out once to a closed convenience store—€”for which I had keys—€”in order to get some necessities, but like most in the region, we were stuck. Eventually it ended. I think a lot of the snow was put on a train headed south.


A Troy-Bilt Storm 2480 Deluxe Two-Stage Snow Thrower may not be able to get through a drift the size of the one you see at the top of this post, but if you, like me, live in a region where sometimes you’€™ve got to clear snow before you can get out of your driveway, or if you, like me, live in a city where you are required by law to keep your sidewalk clear, this machine can be a godsend. (A slippery sidewalk can mean a broken leg or hip for a pedestrian.) And I’€™m ready to give one of these powerful snow throwers away.

You’€™ll have to work a bit for it, though. What’€™s the worst blizzard or heavy snow storm you ever lived through? How’€™d you get through it? Were there fun moments? I have to admit I look forward to the idea of getting stranded at home now; we live in a closely packed urban neighborhood with all the necessities close at hand. It happened for a few days back in December, 2001; it was the best Christmas we ever had. I’€™ve included some photos from that storm here.

Another image from the 2001 storm

So if you’€™re interested in the snow thrower—€”it is an awesome and pricey ($900) piece of equipment—click on the link above to find out all about it. And then give me a graph or two in comments about one of your most memorable snowstorms. (If you live in Texas or California you likely would not have such a story, but then you most likely would not need the thrower.) All comments must link to a blog and be submitted by Thursday, 11/6, at 9 p.m. EST. I will announce Friday morning.

And THANK YOU Troy-Bilt (which is offering free shipping on all snow throwers until Dec 15), for offering our readers this impressive gift.

To get you in the mood, another view from December, 2001

P.S. You will all be surprised to learn that the Blizzard of 77 actually dropped only 12 inches. The most dangerous aspect of 77 was the blowing and drifting, with the high winds. It is speculated that most of the snow that blew in had already been sitting on Lake Erie. If you’re interested, a simple google will get you plenty of info.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. Oh My! I sure don’t want that snow thrower Elizabeth. It might encourage my petite southern snows to get gargantuan like that. I am most definately not ready for that. It would get more use and appreciation further north.

  2. I grew up in Elmira, NY. I recall a Christmas snowstorm back in the 1970s (I was born in 1963) where all the neighbors on the street spent the entire morning digging each others’ cars out of the snow, so people could get to their chosen destinations ( to see family, go to church, etc.) It was a lot of work (well, for our parents, anyway!) but I remember smiles and laughter and jokes and impromptu snowball fights…and I think there may have been beer involved. It was a lovely Christmas Day. I am sure a snowblower would have made life easier, but everyone was robust and healthy from lifetimes of doing things without benefit of gadgets or appliances. I think we still had a hand-push lawnmower at that point, too.

  3. I hopefully don’t need a snow thrower here in Chapel Hill, NC either!

    I have a blizzard story, but I don’t want to enter the contest.

    When I raised Arabian horses, I had a filly born on a balmy 75 degree Leap Day. The next day (March 1st) we got a blizzard! I had to go to the barn every hour to warm up the newborn. I put my husband’s sweaters on her. We covered every barn crevice we could with nailed up burlap sacks to keep the cold out. We put a heat lamp in the stall. Poor little Pamlico still got a touch of frostbite on her little nose, but it was just skin and grew back just fine. We still refer to that as the “Pamlico Blizzard” due to the little filly. That had to have been around 1980 (my memory fails me).


  4. I don’t need a snowblower as we have a good one that got a lot of use last season when Madison set a record with 101.4 inches of snow. I remember the 77 blizzard and have a wonderful booklet of photos and quotes. Only 2,000 copies were printed and it’s a real treasure.

  5. Yes, please for the snow blower. Our old two stage has passed on after 12 years of hard work in our subdivision in the country on a corner lot. My snow story is the blizzard of 1967 in Chicago, IL. We got 18″ in two days and everything was closed. The best part was the tile layer and his son who smoothed a saucer run off the roof of his garage through the back yard, side yard and ended in the street. This was possible because the snowplows didn’t make it through for 3 days.
    You had to climb a ladder to get to the top of the garage and I think that he had every kid in the neighborhood over numerous times. The cold on your face through your scarf that mom embalmed you with(I was 7)and speed of the silver aluminum saucer, sound of the falling snow on the evergreens, and abrupt stop on the street will always be just a snowflake away.

  6. I hope we never reach a point when I’ll need a snow blower here in Seattle. We do get occassional snows but rarely is it above the ankle and even more rarely does it last more than a day.

    I did grow up in rural Virginia on a farm where the snow would keep us trapped indoors watching Donahue(when the power was on), shoveling mounds and drifts of snow to get to the woodpile to keep the woodstoves going, and daydreaming of a day when a powertool would do the heavy snow shovelling for me. Now that I’m all grown up, I’ve chosen a home where nature takes care of the snow for me (most of the time).

  7. Like you, Elizabeth, we are prepared for snow, so the storms kind of blur together. I remember a recent Valentine’s Day storm ( and last year’s tax day storm (, but my most vivid snowstorm memory is the entire winter of 1993-1994, when it got very cold and snowed a lot. It effectively shut me and the kids indoors for several months. I thought I would go mad: We have a 100 foot driveway and the piles of snow on either side towered over my head before it all melted.

  8. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee where we close stores and schools on the mere PREDICTION of snow. I’m not kidding!

    I moved to Chicago on November 11, 2002 and not too long after that, I woke one morning to snow that came to my knees. I was thrilled with it – we don’t get snow like that in the south – ever! I made my way down the stairs of our two-flat and over to my car, a 1996 Sebring which was parked in the neighboring bakery. The snow was nearly covering the tires but, I started my car and tried to back out of the parking spot, anyway. Of course the car didn’t budge.

    Happily, I hurried back to the house and woke up my guy who was sleeping off a horrible case of the flu. “I can’t move my car! I guess that means I won’t be going to work today! I can stay home and take care of you” I said. “No, that means we need to get the shovels” he replied.

    There we stood shoveling snow, me (as excited as a 5 year old), my guy looking like hell and running a fever of 101 and the butcher from the meat place, his apron covered in blood, shoveling my car out of the parking lot. I know that day was supposed to suck really bad, but I absolutely loved it. I eventually made it to work and later called all my southern friends to tell them my story.

    Since then, I’ve shoveled myself out of many a snow storm using a plain ole big black snow shovel. Boy would this thing revolutionize my snow shoveling capabilities!

  9. We don’t get a lot of snow here, but I live out in the country where the roads aren’t sanded unless we do it ourselves. Therefore, I don’t need a snow blower. Give it to someone who gets snowbound for days! However, one year HH, who owns a paving company, got the snow contract for the big city. We had a huge (for OK) snow storm two days prior to New Year’s. He spent New Year’s Eve digging our fair city out of the snow so it could party. It was super cold too, and he and talked on the phone several times those 24 hour days where he and crews worked and worked. It was cool.
    Great gift, BTW. Go Troy-Bilt.~~Dee

  10. Like gardenmentor, I live in Seattle so have no use for the prize. I grew up around here, although not in the city, and we lived down some super sketchy hills so whenever it snowed and the roads froze over, it was possible to become trapped. I do remember one storm in the early 80s that kept us housebound for a few days, we were pretty tired of each other by the time it all melted!

  11. Snowblowers come in really handy here in the hills of western Mass. I don’t remember the exact date, but around April 7 (yes April) and I think 1982. It had started snowing very early in the morning, but my husband and I got the wood furnace going and set off together at 7:30 am, he to UMass where he was a student, and I to Greenfield Community College where I worked. The snow was coming down so hard that by 10 am both institutions were closed and we were told to leave. I couldn’t reach Henry (no cellphones back then) and waited for him to call or just arrive. It was 2 pm when he came to get me and we started driving through thickly falling snow in our little Diesel Rabbit. It was uphill all the way to Heath. The plows were out, but it took us 90 minutes to drive the first 20 miles. We turned off onto Rte 8A that hadn’t been plowed recently and we were pushing the snow ahead of us as we kept climbing. Halfway to our road we met the plow and followed it to our unpaved road which was not going to get plowed. We parked the car and started walking in. It was very cold, the snow was soft. Everytime we took a step we sank knee deep. Every step. After going about 50 feet I told Henry I didn’t think I could walk the mile and a quarter. He said the pipes will freeze. I walked.
    It took another hour to get home. The temperature was 9 degrees. The pipes would have frozen. The plows didn’t come the next day, or the next. The snow drifted so deep on our road the plow broke, and then the bucket loader broke. We finally had to ski out. We didn’t know how to ski. Keeping the fire going and necking while we waited for the plow was fun though.

  12. We just had a snowstorm a couple weeks ago here in Livingston, Montana. It covered our neighborhood in nivean bliss. The snow is melted now, but I’m sure it will be back before too long.

    There was the snowstorm a few Christmases ago that stranded my mom at my house after an already long 8 day stay. Two more days of constant chit chat, then she made it as far as Denver and had to spend the night there.

    The more snow the better, in my opinion. There has never been so much snow I couldn’t throw on my x-country skis and get out of the house.

    We’d love the snowblower. My husband and I dream about being the folks that clear the whole block. When our neighbors walk outside they’ll be thrilled to see their sidewalks cleared!

  13. Living in the I81 corridor between Syracuse and Watertown, we get snowfalls here that rival and, many years, surpass those you get there in Buffalo, Elizabeth. Most of the time I love it, although I have qualifications on that love. It can’t start until after Halloween and needs to end before Easter.

    More than 100″ is the norm in this area. So, to put my finger on one blizzard or heavy snow that stands out is difficult. The New Year’s Eve storm of ’98 (I think, about then anyway; I’m awful with dates) stands out in my mind. My husband, who is a correctional officer, had a rare holiday night off and we thought we’d go into town to celebrate. It had been snowing much of the day but still wasn’t anything that a hardened North Country man would balk at. So we headed out. Along the way we ran into a band of Lake Effect that caused complete white out conditions. It was so bad that I had to roll down my window and hang my head out of it to help my husband stay on the road. I think I got the poor end of the deal. He didn’t have to wipe snow out of his eyes doing the driving.

    Eventually we decided to hit a liquor store for a bottle of champagne and head home to spend the night inside. It snowed 3 feet that night, but it was still nothing to keep people inside or house bound around here. The big Ice Storm of ’98, almost a year before the snow storm I mentioned, did that but you asked for snow related stories and that is not one. That was, however, the worst winter storm that we lived through, and memories of it are sharp in everyone’s mind.

    Yes, we could use a new snowblower. We do have one, of course, but it just broke when my husband was blowing out the snow from the big snowfall we got 2 days before Halloween. It is old and breaks down often. I’m really stunned by this give-away! You guys sure do get some good loot!

  14. In my first blizzard after moving to Chicago, it began snowing around 2:00 pm. Being the first storm of the year, the city thought “Hey, it’s rush hour. You know what would be a great idea? Let’s NOT PLOW THE ROADS!” We left work downtown at our usual time of 5:00 and didn’t get home until almost midnight (it’s a 45-minute drive normally). SEVEN HOURS. OF COMMUTING.

    Then we got up and drove to work again the next morning because, c’mon…it’s Chicago…a silly thing like a blizzard isn’t gonna stop us. Also, we have a really long driveway and a corner lot (lots of sidewalk), so we could reeeeally use that snowblower. This is an amazing giveaway!

  15. Well, living here in Virginia I don’t need the snow blower (I hope!), but I do have a snow story. The Great Blizzard of ’66 totally stopped the DC metropolitan area. We had a two-year-old daughter then, and we had invited another couple over for dinner and bridge (no need for a babysitter). They brought their baby, fortunately, because when they got up to go home at about midnight, we couldn’t get the storm door open because the snow had drifted up three feet against the door, although the forecast had said “partly cloudy”. I don’t remember how many inches, but they were at our place from Saturday to Tuesday and before they could go home, we had to go around and try to find their little sports car. It was parked against the slope of the front lawn and the snow had drifted over it so it couldn’t be seen. We used a broom handle to test (carefully, because it was a ragtop convertible) and eventually we found it. They lived in Maryland, the other side of DC, and when they crossed the Potomac they drove on the sidewalk across Memorial Bridge because the abandoned cars still blocked the roadway. From that experience I learned that the traditional DC “milk, bread and toilet paper” panic is entirely sensible.

  16. I remember the big storm of ’77. I also was a collage student, but a senior at a school in the Ohio snowbelt, which is nothing to compare with snow in Buffalo. This college NEVER shut down for snow, but they did this time so we knew it was bad. This was also the year of a nasty coal strike and no one could get coal and the school had coal fired boilers. It got pretty cold that winer. Anyways, there were three of us were holed up in our appartment with a bottle of wine and a Clarol blonde streaking kit. Two of us decided to try out the hair kit. You know the shower cap with holes and the crochet hook and the foil and the goop? Good thing we divided it up and all had long hair because what with the wine we totally forgot about it and left it in for hours. It could have been very ugly.

    I would never use a snow blower. I have a phobia of anything smaller than a car that is powered by a gasoline engine. Nothing to do with being green, just a good grasp of my own incompetence with mechanical things. It is my husband that needs the snowblower because he has a compulsion problem when it comes to snow. There must be clear and dry pavement at all times. A dusting of snow and he is out clearing it off. We have a 150′ long driveway that connects the street to the alley. It would not all have to be shoveled. He could do in front of the garage and a short section for him to park. But noooo the whole thing, and the front sidewalk and the pavement of the elderly lady across the street and his father’s pavement. Both have passed away and the houses are empty and I just know my spouse will be still compelled to shovel them all.

    His only hope is a 12 step program or a snow blower.

  17. We don’t get a lot of big storms here in the mid-Atlantic, but we do get the occasional doozy. Because we don’t get huge storms that often, I would say don’t count me in, but Garden Man isn’t getting any younger. It took his shoulder weeks to recover from shoveling the last good snow we had. While I think there are others more deserving, he is certainly interested in a snow blower, even though he didn’t want me to buy him one last year.

    As for our storm, I am not sure of the year. I think it was in the 1998-2002 timeframe. I remember hearing in the afternoon before that southern MD might get a dusting but none where we lived. I opened the door at about 4:15 am to grab the paper before I headed to the gym and work. There were about 6 inches of snow on the ground at the time and it was snowing sideways. I thought it was a “snow shower” which would pass, so I decided to forego the gym. I took a shower and got dressed for work. When I looked outside again, there were about 8 inches on the ground and it was still snowing – hard. By that time, the local news was on, and they said no one was going anywhere because we were in a full blown nor’easter. The storm had changed track slightly and they didn’t get the predictions until after the 11pm news the night before. We got about 26 inches, if I remember right. Our heat pump stopped working, and it was a good thing we had a fireplace. We shoveled the driveway and sidewalk and had a visit in the middle of the street with many of the neighbors who were also out shoveling. It was 3 days before our street was plowed – when they plowed the main road, the plow left a pile of snow about 3 feet high in the intersection, so we were stuck. Garden Man plunked beer and sodas into the snow by the mailbox, packed some snow into a seat and continued visiting with the guys – it was a fun, festive time and quite the sight. But we were younger then and didn’t need a snow blower.

  18. In 1986 my parents moved us (my sister and I) up to Minnesota. We heard it got cold, and we’d only seen snow once or twice in the 10 years I lived in Oklahoma. The first several winters weren’t bad, even though Mom isisted we wear snow suits to school (very embarrassing amongst the more cold blooded / native kids we wanted to become–jackets in December?).

    But on Halloweem of 1991 we became fully inducted Minnesotans. As we went door to door getting candy, snowflakes appeared. By the time we got home the ground was white. By the time we woke there was a foot of snow and school cancelled. By the evening of November 1 almost 30 inches was on the ground, and a two feet swath lay from Minneapolis up into the arrowhead.

    With no school for TWO WHOLE DAYS (unprecedented in MN, land of not only 10,000 lakes but 10,000 snowplows and salt trucks), we lay warmly and safely tucked in our beds, getting pleasantly sick from the candy. Once Dad finished clearing the drive after about three hours, we built a fort from the pile of snow he made–which was at least 8 feet high. All you had to do was dig a hole in it and you’d have an igloo where you could safely hide your candy from the parents, who tried to ration is as best they could.

    To top it off, the Twins had just won the World Series in what most consider the best Series ever–the seventh and final game was the 3rd extra inning game played, and the Twins won 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th after being down 3 games to 2. What more could an impressionable Okie boy ask for? Oofda!

  19. In February of 1997, we moved into our very first home. The snow was higher than the for sale sign, and we had to dig our way in. Our baby was born just a little later. I’m so glad we didn’t own much at that point, since pregnancy, stairs, and waist-deep snow don’t make for the easiest move. Ahhhhh, but we were sooooooo happy!
    When we bought our second house, we made sure it didn’t involve a winter move, though.Now we have a large corner lot.
    A snowblower would be VERY useful!

  20. Worst storm I went through was the ‘storm of the century’ in March ’93. If memory serves, we picked up 40+ inches here in Upstate New York. The weather warmed up shortly after and I remember shoveling off my raised beds so I could plant lettuce.

    Patti in NNY beat me to the punch on the Lake Effect Belt north up us. I got kicked off of I-81 once in college on my way to do some winter camping.

    Some of you may know Ellen Hornig of Seneca Hills Perennials in Oswego, N.Y., in the heart of the Belt. When conditions are right (or wrong),they’ll stack up 10 to 12 feet of snow in a week. Redfield, N.Y., averages 270 inches of snow a year. Needless to say, Ellen has reliable snow cover most years.

  21. Like a few other posters, I don’t need a snow blower but I have lived through my share of snow storms. Except for 3 years in York, PA, and college years plus two in Charleston, IL, I spent my youth in the Chicago suburbs. Snow was a given and I never gave it much thought. Winter ‘wear’ for my car was a trunk filled with a bag of kitty litter for traction, a snow shovel, blankets, a can of de-icer and a few cinder blocks for extra weight (I had a little car).

    But the memory that comes to mind is last December when my dad and I returned to Wisconsin for my aunt’s memorial service. We were to leave the day the ice and snow storm came to town. It shut down Chicago and closed the Milwaukee airport for a few hours. I sat in my hotel room watching the biggest flakes I thought I’d ever seen (I swear they were 3 inches across). It was beautiful. Or so I thought until dad and I trudged through drifts to the car, scraped the windshields again, emptied our shoes of snow again and slid along the roads to the airport. We made it home safely and I was quite happy to leave it behind.

    Guess I’ve gone soft.

    But I have to say it’s been fun reading everyone’s tales and living vicariously while being ever so much warmer.

  22. Here are the stats for the 1977 Buffalo storm:

    “For the 45 days between Dec. 26, 1976 and Feb. 8, 1977, the temperature in Bflo. never rose above freezing. It snowed every one of the 53 days between Dec. 20 and Feb. 10. The ave. temp in January 13.8 degrees F. set a 107 year record low. Snowfall during January, 68.3 inches, exceeded the previous record snowfall which itself had been established only a month earlier. Total snowfall for the season, a mighty 199.4 inches, overwhelmed the puny 126.4 inches of 1909-10.”

    The above is quoted from “Buffalo Buried: The blizzard of ’77” by Katy Kline and Carol Nash.

    As for Buffalo, they’ve broken other snow records since then including most snow in a 24 hour period: 37.9 inches in 1995. God, I love weather stats!

  23. Brrrr… all these stories of snow storms and blizzards… I had to go get an extra blanket to wrap around me halfway through reading them.

    How generous of Troy Bilt to provide this giveaway! I have a TB snow BLOWER, which is smaller and handles almost anything we get here in central Indiana. If it can’t handle it, I figure I don’t have any business going out in that much snow. My snow blower has an electric start, which I highly recommend for winter time gas engine starting.

    My big blizzard story is about the last blizzard ’round these parts, the great one of ’78, when I was a freshman at Purdue. The university shut down for 2.5 days and we had a blast!

    Sounds like someone in the northeast part of the country needs this snow thrower!

  24. Hubby & I were building our house and the job went from a 6 month project to a three year deal.It is out in the country, no big towns around but a few good neighbors. We went to work on the dang house every night after work and all weekend, every weekend and never really met any neighbors (yet) becuase we were so focused on the house. So any how in December of 2003- we had to dig a trench for a gas line but they predicted a HUGE snow storm. I tried to tell hubby today was not the day but he kept saying ” You don’t understand – WE HAVE TO GET THIS HOUSE DONE!” So we go to Home Depot, to rent the Ditch Witch and the Home Depot guy says – “you know it’s going to storm, a big storm are you sure you want to rent this?” We had to make sure the ground was not too frozen to use the thing, it was Ok and off we went towing the thing to our property. It was snowing, and the big wet flakes that you know accumulate fast as we made the 40 minute drive – in silence watching the big flakes fall. Our driveway is long, 1,800 feet, dirt and has a big hill down to the house. We did not have a 4 wheel drive vehicle but went down anyway. By now there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground. I was so mad I stayed in the SUV and read a book as hubby made a valient effort to dig the dang ditch. Finally he gave up, put the Ditch Witch back on the trailer and now we have about 6 inches of snow. We started up the driveway and the trailer got stuck, like really stuck. After much cussing and swearing we unhooked the trailer but by now the SUV was also stuck. Really, really stuck.We have no cell phone coverage were we live so after tears from me ( many tears – I was so mad!) and cussing from him, we walked up the driveway to try and find a neighbor who might let us call a taxi, if we could even find a taxi out in the country. Forget a tow truck – this was the second time we got a vehicle stuck on our driveway and AAA wouldn’t even come out there anymore. We saw lights on at a house about a city block away – we had never met these people but we went up to their house anyhow. They amazingly answered the door, let us in and let us use their phone. No taxi company would even answer the phone. We were screwed, oh so screwed. And then, this nice couple, who had never met us, loaned us their 4WD Jeep so we could drive 30 minutes to our apartment, on the promise we’d bring the Jeep back. We could not believe it. By the time we got home (normally 30 minute drive, but that night a 60 minute drive) there was almost 2 feet of snow and the state of CT had shut down. Later after we got to know the couple a little better, they said they let us use their Jeep because they were afraid we’d have to spend the night at their house!
    So ya – we could use the snow blower…. Thanks!

  25. We live in the icebox corner of the state and have a narrow sloping driveway (9′ across at the narrowest point) with a dogleg in it at the lower foundation of the house. I learned to become an expert at backing up after moving into this house at age 29 and am proud my two daughters can back their cars like no one’s business. The driveway is on the cold north side of the house and flanked on the opposite side by a tall hedge. You can only imagine the headaches this narrow driveway has caused us over the years with snowfalls totalling 18″ plus with more storms than we care to remember.

    My husband used to get all geared up for these storms staying glued to the latest predictions running across the red storm warnings at the bottom of the TV screen. He’d plot, plan, strategize where to put all that snow with no where to put it. Time his shoveling bonanzas with the plows whipping down the hill on the street out front.

    Now he’s not as interested. Moving that much snow at age 35 is one thing. But at age 50-something it’s literally a painfully different situation. Now he won’t even look at the local stations during snowstorms. And I hear muffled swearing as he pulls the covers back over his head when the plows careen down the hill out front. Oh for a Troy-Bilt 2480 Deluxe to put under the Christmas tree this year….

  26. Wow, I live in Michigan so there are some might BIG snowstorms. My first year in college is always a wierd memory for me. They actually cancelled classes and the snow was up to the roof of some of the smaller dorms. Kids were diving off the roofs into snow banks. Not me though!

    The next one was really an ice storm– it was two winters ago, and we had no heat with no idea when the electric would be back on, so we had to go to a hotel! The kids thought it was a blast-there was a pool and we ordered pizza. The ice/snow was so heavy it broke trees off and driving was almost impossible unless you had 4 wheel drive.

  27. I, too, was an undergraduate at SUCB during the Blizzard of ’77, but I was living at home, just off the Elmwood strip. I’m sure our paths must have crossed, Elizabeth.

    I remember walking over to the grocery store (Loblaw’s?) after a neighbor had announced that it had reopened, and how surreal it was to walk down the nearly empty aisles. The only food that remained was canned sardines. For years after that blizzard, every time a storm of any size was predicted, people would rush to the grocery store and buy up all the milk and bread (and beer, no doubt) in preparation for being socked in.

    We kept hearing rumors that the National Guard was supposed to plow the neighborhood streets, but after waiting for several days, I remember the whole neighborhood just getting out there with their shovels and snow blowers and getting the job done ourselves, as best we could. And when the National Guard finally showed up? They got stuck at the nearest intersection, and we had to help shovel them out!!

    Here in Portland, Oregon we occasionally get enough snow that we need to find a shovel, but thankfully, no blowers are necessary here.

  28. This is the story my DH told me, it takes place when he was 15 and his brother was 17 (around ’88). They grew up in the Iowa Great Lakes Area:

    “One day we were hanging out at our friends house in Arnolds Park when a blizzard hit. We ended up spending most of the day stuck inside waiting for it to let up enough for us to drive ourselves and our dates home.
    Finally, around 9pm, it let up enough for us to chance the drive home. At the time, my brother was driving a 78 Monte Carlo. He liked to do crazy things with it, and tonight an opportunity presented itself for him to do just that.
    Instead of taking the main road out onto the highway, he decided to swing down by the lake thru the Arnolds Park Amusement Park.
    We rounded the Park onto the road that runs between it and the lake, and were confronted with a 5 foot tall snow drift.
    My brother, ever the adventurer, decided it needed a good ramming, Dukes of Hazard style.
    He gunned the engine, let go the brake, and flew at the snow drift. If only we had gotten out to see how deep it was first. The car hit the drift, then stopped. After 15 minutes of fighting to get the doors open, we found ourselves on top of the drift, about 3 feet off the ground, and stuck. The drift turned out to have been about 10 feet deep.
    The car was suspended 3 feet above the ground, we had one shovel, no money for a tow truck, and two dates late to get home.
    His date walked back to our friends house while we took the one shovel out of the trunk and began digging around the car. She came back with her girlfriend in their little Chevette, his date, and three guys with shovels and long 2×4’s.
    Our dates took off in the Chevette with her girlfriend, and we began the task of getting the car down off the drift.
    After a couple of hours of digging around the car, it became apparent it had no intention of falling down on its own. We switched tactics and began clearing all the snow from the front 1/3 of the car using shovels and the 2×4’s (no one seemed to want to climb under the car to remove the compacted snow). Once we had that done, we put the 2×4’s under the back wheels, my brother in the car, two on the front hood, and two holding the 2×4’s in place.
    My brother gunned it, the 2×4’s shot out from under the wheels, and the car went no where.
    We convinced him to try again, but this time just put it in gear and let us try and ‘leverage’ the front of the car down. This time it worked and the front of the car was down. The back, however was still stuck on the snow drift
    It took us another hour of leveraging, but we got it done and the back of the car joined the front safely on the ground.

    Time to get stuck on a snow drift: under 30 seconds.

    Time to get the car down off the snow drift: Approximately 4 hours.

    My brother learning yet another lesson on what NOT to use his car for: Priceless”

    Yes, he certainly could have used a good snow blower right about then!

  29. Earlier this year we moved into our new home in Pittsburgh. For me it was a homecoming of sorts being from here, after moving to Northern Virginia 22 years ago. Like all moves it was sad leaving our old house and friends, but exciting to begin a new adventure.

    The day after we closed on our house we had the first big snowfall of the year. While shoveling the driveway (without any gloves on), our new neighbor came over to introduce himself. Immediately after shaking his hand, I slipped and fell. Because it was so cold, it wasn’t until an hour later that I realized my wedding ring was missing. I searched until it got dark. We weren’t having our furniture delivered for two more weeks and wouldn’t be staying at the house. I’d go back over every day and search for my ring. No luck.

    After 10 days I gave up hope finding it. Finally on the morning our furniture was to be delivered, there it was. Balanced on the very edge of the driveway where there had been a huge pile of snow up until that morning.

  30. The Quiet of Snow
    Monday, February 17th in 2003 was a federal holiday – President’s Day – which kept the plows away. Hell’s Kitchen was a Winter Wonderland! It was just the perfect day off to hunker down to watch the blizzard drop over 24 inches of snow on Manhattan. There was plenty of warning, so we had time to plan recipes, shop, and head to the best wine store.

    Although only the 4th deepest on record (the rule of thumb is $1 million an inch to clear), this snow was the perfect texture for packing snowballs and hearing our boots crunch as we walked onto where we thought the road began.

    We threw endless snowballs for our dog, BeeBee, who intently watched Fred and I throwing them from our gloves, then she ran to where they should have landed, and looked up with such an amazed face when she could not retrieve them! So hysterical to watch! We laughed so hard!

    But it wasn’t the beauty of staring up toward the street lamps to see how fast and thick the snow was falling, it was the fact that there was no traffic on West 44th Street, from at least 9th Avenue down to the Hudson River. None.

    The stillness of the city, the sheer quiet – – this absolute, so rare, lack of noise was just deafening, lovely, and just so incredible. A true Silent Night.

    Now we are in Garrison, NY in the Hudson Highlands and do not own any kind of blower and really need one! This AWD thrower is just what we need!

    P.S. This is my new blog! Pictures tomorrow of this and our snowy driveway that really need help!

    City Snow Memories

    The Quiet of Snow

    Monday, February 17th in 2003 was a federal holiday – President’s Day – which kept the plows away. Hell’s Kitchen was a Winter Wonderland! It was just the perfect day off to hunker down to watch the blizzard drop over 24 inches of snow on Manhattan. There was plenty of warning, so we had time to plan recipes, shop, and head to the best wine store.

    Although only the 4th deepest on record (the rule of thumb is $1 million an inch to clear), this snow was the perfect texture for packing snowballs and hearing our boots crunch as we walked onto where we thought the road began.

    We threw endless snowballs for our dog, BeeBee, who intently watched Fred and I throwing them from our gloves, then she ran to where they should have landed, and looked up with such an amazed face when she could not retrieve them! So hysterical to watch! We laughed so hard!

    But it wasn’t the beauty of staring up toward the street lamps to see how fast and thick the snow was falling, it was the fact that there was no traffic on West 44th Street, from at least 9th Avenue down to the Hudson River. None.

    The stillness of the city, the sheer quiet – – this absolute, so rare, lack of noise was just deafening, lovely, and just so incredible. A true Silent Night.

    Now we are in Garrison, NY in the Hudson Highlands and do not own any kind of blower and really need one!

    This is my first blog post!
    Posted by at 11/5/2008 8:25 PM | Add Comment

  32. Time warp or time zone weird thing going on here – I posted it on my new blog address and it went away, then I just posted it again! I do have pictures that I hope to post tomorrow.

  33. Don’t need a snowblower but the blizzard of ’78 in February dumped over 30 inches of snow on RI and I was expecting my second child in just one month. No electricity for a week which means no water here! Mountains of snow everywhere. I was hibernating anyway but cars were stranded and buried everywhere on the highways.

  34. I was there–downtown Buffalo when The Blizzard of ’77 hit. I’ll never forget it if I live to be 500. There is no way to describe it to others. I was 20 years old and worked in a bank downtown. Brought a suitcase that day; the storm was forecasted. But, hey, who knew? It never stopped snowing that winter and the snow banks were already 10 feet high? Homes buried. At the onset of the storm,we were smart not to try and leave. By the grace of God I inched my way down to the Statler Hilton Hotel. Covered in one inch of permafrost,blind from the whiteout and clutching that heavy suitcase. Spent 4 days eating canned peas and watching Roots in the hotel ballroom. The wind–the sound of that wind. The swaying of the building. When it was all over, everything was buried. Nothing was visible. Moved to NWIndiana later that year. All they can talk about here is the storm of ’78…I drove to work every day for that one…(babies).

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