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Blizzard Of '78 Anniversary: Vivid Memories 35 Years Later

BOSTON (CBS) - You say the words "Blizzard of 78" anywhere in Massachusetts, and even 35 years later, you hear the stories.

Beanpot hockey fans stranded at Boston Garden. Thousands of cars and trucks buried in snow up and down Route 128. Hundreds of homes along beaches evacuated and later broken to pieces by the sea.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mary Blake reports


WBZ Nightside's Dan Rea was working on the television side that February 6th.

"I remember most that it was a surprise," he said. "We'd had a big snowstorm about two weeks before, a big snow storm. We were told to come in early for this one, just in case." Rea added, "We worked all day and I remember the snow just kept piling up."

Photos: Blizzard of 1978

Rea says he stayed at a nearby hotel that night and soon after he arrived, he received a call saying Jack Chase could not make it in to anchor the news because he was stuck at his home in Wellesley.

"I got up on about one hour's sleep and walked from the hotel to the station." Rea added, "It was less than a quarter mile away, but I thought I was gonna die. The intensity of the wind and the intensity of the snow at the height of the storm was terrifying. You couldn't see more than 15 or 20 feet in front of you and you were looking for landmarks to make sure you were going in the right direction," Rea recalled.

Blizzard of 1978
A special edition of the Boston Globe from February 1978. (Photo by Mary Blake)

WBZ-TV AccuWeather meteorologist Barry Burbank was working in Portland, Maine during the Blizzard.  He joined WBZ three weeks after the storm.

"The forecast called for snow in the morning that February 6th.  However, that morning it wasn't snowing early, and so people thought the forecast was wrong and they went to work and all of a sudden it came in like a wall of snow and really caught a lot of people by surprise," Burbank said.

Political consultant Michael Goldman was working at that time as Communications Director for the Metropolitcan District Commission (MDC).

"I went out at about 11:30 that first night to see Revere Beach, which we had been told had been lost, sort of like a war where you've lost your beach head, " Goldman recalls.

"Well, we got about three quarters of a mile from Revere Beach. I was in a massive front end vehicle, but had to turn around because we couldn't get near the water. I went back to my office and didn't leave it for six days," Goldman said.

WBZ-TV's Joe Joyce reports

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