Last night I saw a Facebook group entitled “This winter is bad, but I survived the Blizzard of ’78.”
So did I.
In late January 1978, I was a student at Bowling Green State University. My roommate Kim and I lived on the ground floor of McDonald Hall West. The windows of our room were at ground level. I don’t remember a lot of detail about those two days, but I do remember it poured down snow and didn’t stop. Soon, we couldn’t see anything out of our window.The school shut down and we were told by our RAs to stay inside.
Then the lights went out, followed by the heat, the phones, and everything else. We (and several thousand others on campus) were stranded with no lights, no way to keep warm, and no way to communicate with the outside. News from the transistor radio wasn’t good, and kids started to get scared.
Wood County was hit really hard, though we didn’t know it at the time. Before long, the room started to get cold (although I assume we might have stayed warmer longer than people on the upper floors). We ended up combining all our blankets into one mummy wrap, and we huddled together in the same bed and tried to sleep. With no lights and neither of us owning a flashlight, that was about all we could do.
All I remember is how relieved I was when the power came back on, and how I couldn’t wait to call my parents. I had to wait in line at the pay phone — we had a phone in our room, but I didn’t have long distance access (too expensive).
The past few days of weather were nothing like that weekend back in 78. But really, when you can’t get your car up the driveway, it doesn’t matter if there are 10 or 30 inches of snow on the ground.