Blizzard of '78 by Danny McCarthy

The Blizzard February 6-7, 1978

By Danny McCarthy

I checked the Suffolk Historic Newspapers website for possible-related information on the effects of The Blizzard of February 1978 on the North Fork of Long Island …

The Suffolk County news {stet} dated {Thursday,} February 9, 1978 shared - Long Island “was hit by the worst storm since 1947 as two feet of snow inundated local communities.” “the storm of 1947 was wetter and swifter than the blizzard of February 1978.” The blizzard “lasted almost 24 hours before stopping. Town, State and County highway departments {were} coping with clean-ups and {did} not estimate that roads {would} be plowed before Friday.”

RICHARD G. HENDRICKSON in a the weather column in The Southampton press {stet} dated February 9, 1978 gave some clarifications:

“… A blizzard winds up the week. Sixty-five m.p.h. gusts with blowing snow made for impossible driving. The wise stayed home.

The term blizzard is now designated by the weather bureau as: 35 m.p.h, winds, plus below 20 degrees, at least 6 inches os {stet} fnow {stet}, all occurring at once.

Spring will be late this year.”

Newsday dated February 11, 2019 by Patricia Kitchen with the headline – The Long Island Blizzard of 1978: 40 Years of Memories included:

“… Long Island, was, indeed, paralyzed. ‘by the worst storm in 30 years and the second in 18 years,’ Newsday reported, with roadways buried, motorists trapped, and some ‘3,000 cars abandoned in the wilderness or on unplowed highways …’”

I came across an on-line entry of a website titled North Shore Wx {“Wx is short for weather} carrying an archives column {that was undated} - Here we go – “whether-or-not” {so-to-speak} -

“The blizzard of 1978 was one of the greatest winter storms to strike Long Island in terms of total snowfall, wind, and coastal flooding.

Monday, February 6 {1978}, “… The snow started falling lightly on Long Island before dawn.” There was a forecast of one to two feet. “Most schools cancelled classes and some businesses closed that day based on the forecast. …

… By the time the storm eased on the 7th, over 20 inches of snow covered most of Long Island with many areas receiving over two feet of new snow, There was significant damage to homes on the barrier beaches from coastal flooding. Significant coastal flooding also occurred along parts of the north shore and the Peconic Bay region.

Winds gusting well over 60 miles per hour also created massive drifting, which compounded some removal efforts over the next several days. Most schools remained closed for the entire week with travel conditions not restored to normal until the following week. …”

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