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Captivating Short: Connecticut’s Worst Blizzard in State History

February 6, 1978, started out as just another day in Connecticut. But by midday, the Blizzard of 1978 hit with 15 to 30 inches of snow, bone-chilling temperatures, wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and snowdrifts as high as 16 feet, and many residents found themselves stranded or in danger.

The Blizzard of ’78 is legendary not only in the amount and intensity of the snow and wind, but in other impacts as well, such as politics – it is seen as central to the re-election later that year of Governor Ella Grasso. 

Connecticut Public Television aired a documentary about the Blizzard of ’78, which included these statistics:

30 inches of snow

70 mile per hour winds

5,000 people stranded

16 foot snowdrifts

Air and rail traffic were shut down amidst 3 days of snow

Snowfall as heavy as 4 inches per hour

1,200 cars towed from state highways and thousands stuck on secondary roads

More than $25 million in damage.

A contingent of 547 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas flew to Connecticut to help National Guard crews with snow removal and clean up.

Mail delivery ceased for the first time in 40 years.

Gov. Grasso shut down the state for three days, and President Carter declared Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts federal disaster areas.

It was a storm for the ages, the likes of which Connecticut has never seen.

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