On February 6, 1978, no one was alarmed as snow started to fall around 7:13 am. New Englanders had already had a rough winter; a previous storm had dumped 21 inches of snow on Massachusetts just 2 weeks earlier. Residents did not pay attention to forecasters when they said another storm was on the way.
Over the next 32 hours, four feet of snow and hurricane force winds wreaked havoc in New England. Massachusetts and its coastal towns were some of the hardest hit areas.
On Massachusetts' South Shore, many coastal homes were built only feet from the ocean. The proximity to sea level lead to the destruction of thousands of homes, piers and boardwalks.
Homes were not the only pieces of property to be damaged by the storm. Countless cars and boats were buried by snow, and for those along the coast, swallowed up by the sea and shore.
United States National Guard trucks and tanks are seen here assisting with the post-blizzard clean up.
Once the storm had passed, it took six days for National Guard troops to clear the roads. In Massachusetts, Governor Michael Dukakis declared a state of emergency and all roads were closed, except for emergency travel. Governor Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut did the same.
Front loaders were used to load massive piles of snow into dump trucks during the 6 day cleanup effort
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers greatly contributed to the cleanup efforts after the blizzard. To the left is an image of the report by the Corps describing the actions taken and the communities aided.
Nearly 10,000 people were forced from their homes. Approximately 100 people were killed and 4,500 injured as a result of the storm. The Blizzard of '78 caused nearly $1 billion in damage.
Curator — Christina DeBenedictis