Channel 4 had scheduled a special on Saturday,
February 1, 2003 at 7:00 PM. 
We got about 5 seconds of air time, 
hope you didn't blink.
Brewster St Jan 29, 2003
K Street on Jan 29, 2003
Without water & snow
What it looks like without the water
What it looks like without the snow and water
All of a sudden there was a great interest in the "Blizzard of 78".

Of course the 25th anniversary of the storm was approaching.

In just the past few weeks Rozz & I have been asked to provide photos for a book, "Storm of the Century", written by Chris Haraden, formerly from Hull. 

Asked to help the Hull Lifesaving Museum with their exhibit.

Interviewed by WCVB Channel 5 for a special they will be airing on February 7. 

We have also been interviewed by the local paper, The Braintree Forum, story Feb 5.

Interviewed by WBZ Channel 4 at the Hull Lifesaving Museum, shown Feb. 1.

Contacted by WLVI - WB56,  WBUR radio NECN & the Patriot Ledger .

Interviewed by the Boston Globe story in paper Feb 5.

Had photos taken for the Associated Press Blizzard story.
By  Rosalyn (Glikin) Simons, who was living on K Street during the storm.

Blizzard of '78, where do I begin? 

I was working at Shawmut Bank in Boston at the time, and the management had heard on the radio how bad the weather was, and how businesses should let folks go home, but nooooo. They were not allowing anyone to leave early.

By the time I got out, the T was running behind. But I finally made it to Quincy Center and ran out just as a Hingham bus was just taking off.  I knocked on the door with a pleading look in my eyes.  The driver of course let me in, I think Bill was his name.  Boy the snow was really coming down now. 

Cars were pulled over on both sides of the road.  It was crazy. Bill did not think he would make it through if he went the normal route down route 3A.  He took a right at the old Red Coach Grill and then went around past Talbots; he ended up at the intersection near Brooks and the Hingham Police.  This was great.  That is right where I parked my car on this particular day. 

I had bumped into Phil Baglione and Faye Kaiser on the bus and the three of us went to dig out my car.  I let Phil drive my car, as I was a little nervous about the snow.  It was coming down really heavy by this time.  Cars were abandoned all over the place. Well, we made it to Hull but we were driving through water on Nantasket Ave.   It was over 2 feet deep.  We had to abandon the car at the Mobil gas station.  

Faye headed home. Phil and I started down the Ave. We were walking through knee deep water when Kim Gustafson yelled over to us.  She invited us to come out of the storm.  "Sounds good to me", I said. We were happy she lived on the 3rd floor. There were about 6 people in her apartment.  There was no heat but her oven worked.  We put our soaked socks in the oven and tried to dry off.  We just hung out all night with not much to eat. 

The next morning the water was gone.  So I walked to Adams Street to stay with my Aunt Betty Rosenfield and my Uncle Sam, who was deaf and blind.  If only I had walked 12 more streets and gone home to K Street.  Before we knew it, the water had risen again and we were stranded.  We had to be removed from the house by boat. One of the firefighters, Mr. Tremontana had walked a boat to Auntie Betty's front door. The water was waist high.  The men holding the boat were wearing those rubber pants. It was very hard to step into the boat, and it was especially hard for my Uncle, who at this point was not sure what was going on and was very scared. 

The firemen walked the boat containing the 3 of us right up to Nantasket Ave where we were loaded into a Paddy wagon that was full with other people with similar stories. They took us all to the Memorial School where we stayed for the next few days.  Even though I lived only one street away, I wasn't allowed to leave the school building. 

At the Memorial School my Aunt, Uncle and myself along with many other Hullonions were about to spend the next few days not knowing what was happening to our homes and friends. It seemed like there were thousands of us there. People were sleeping all over the place. Leaning against walls and on the floors. We had space in the outer area of the gym. 

My husband's aunt Lil Willis along with other kitchen workers from the school were cooking and serving everyone. The whole week we just stood in lines waiting for food.

I was so glad to see my dad when he finally came for me.   My parent's house on K Street had no electricity and no heat but had a fireplace where we all huddled for many days.  The freezer in the basement was defrosting, turkeys, roasts and steaks,  so we ate very well.  Thank goodness for the gas stove.

The Mekler family of Wilson Street, which is now Hadassah way, stayed with my family for the whole week since their house was under water and had been evacuated.

The week was declared a legal holiday.  After I was safely home I could really enjoy the weather.   Everyone was out walking here and there, as you could not take your car out.  Everyone was so friendly. You saw people out who you never even saw before.  Everyone was sharing stories and pulling kids in their sleds.  Everyone was smiling and just enjoying.

Houses were repaired or rebuilt, and people's lives went back to normal. 

But what I found out later, the bus driver, Bill, got fired from his job because the T drivers are not allowed to take an alternate route.  So his quick thinking and caring ways got punished.  And that is my memory of the Blizzard of '78.

This story was submitted by Nancy (Homer) Ware of Harborview Road.

As I look back through the mist of time I recall that during the winter of 1978 I was working in Boston for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. I was the driver of a carpool than consisted of my friends Rosie Cusick, Pam Gore, Laureen DeSharnais and Mary Schell. We all worked at the same place except for Pam. She was working in the financial district, so we'd drop her off at the Lollipop tree.

About a week before the big one, we had a nasty storm that was, unbeknownst to us, a harbinger of what was yet to come. We all called in to work the day of the first storm figuring it would be too tough to drive in those conditions. We all got a hard time from our bosses for not coming to work, so we were a little fearful of doing it a second time. 

We arrived in Boston that day in good spirits. By mid-morning I was beginning to hear reports that a killer storm was headed our way. I began to think about leaving early and heading home before the roads got really bad. I called the others to give them a heads up about my plans. They all agreed that we should let our bosses know we were going home early. We would head out after lunch.

We never got the chance to inform our bosses of our plans, because after lunch there was an announcement that the office would be closing early. We were on the expressway headed south by 3 o'clock. Pam was the only one not with us that afternoon because she had opted to leave a little earlier and take the bus to Quincy Center.

The drive was a crawl until we reached Hingham. I thought I was going to lose my mind sitting in that traffic, but we managed to keep each other's spirits up, singing with the radio and joking around. I got everyone safely home and then headed for my house.

When I got in the front door, around 6pm, my father told me to go back out and park right up on the lawn so the plows could get by easily. I walked in a second time and asked my mom what was for dinner. As soon as I did, as if on cue, the electricity went out. Yay! Dinner by candlelight is rather nice though. That was the last time we had power for a week. 

The storm howled and raged outside. It got so cold in our house that my brother Tommy and I put our coats and hats on, and huddled under a blanket together for warmth that night. Since we didn't have TV or radio we were unable to hear the horrible weather reports. My sisters, all living out of the area heard and saw the reports. They became very concerned and called us on the phone.

We didn't realize how serious the storm was and told them not to worry, we'd be fine. It was just a typical ocean related nor'easter. Who knew? We were fortunate in that we lived on Harborview Road, by the Jacob's school. We sustained almost no damage or flooding. 

When the storm subsided, the first thing I noticed was how quiet and still everything had become. My brother went to the front door to take a look outside. When he got the door open he was greeted by a wall of snow. We literally could not see outside. He decided to climb out his bedroom window. As we lived in a small ranch it was not a big drop. When Tommy jumped, he found himself up to his chest in snow. It was that deceptive. He managed to dig his way to our front door.

When I finally got my first look outside I thought we'd perhaps dropped our house on a witch. It was blindingly bright, white and quite beautiful. After spending three days with my parents and brother I evacuated myself to Mary's house. (She had power and I could take a shower. Yippee!!) Mary lived down the other end of town by Paragon Park. It was a very long walk. I learned on my walk that the town was under marshall law and a curfew was in effect.

Down by the beach it looked like we had been hit by bombs.
The cement and asphalt was uprooted as if an earthquake had hit. There were helicopters flying overhead and amphibious vehicles out and about, helping those whose homes were under water. I saw news reports for the first time showing Route 128 and the endless river of stranded cars. Everywhere I looked I couldn't believe my eyes. I learned there was a police/army officer posted at the entrance to Hull with orders of "no one in and no one out." My sisters had tried to come get us and got very upset when they were turned back. 

I was glad to stay in Hull because when an event as significant as the Blizzard of '78 happens it brings out the best in people. Everyone was doing whatever they could to help their fellow Hullonians. Then there were the parties! We went from party to party. On foot of course as there was a driving ban in effect too. We left Mike Burns pub one night and headed for a party at Jack Orpen's house. The only problem was, it was after midnight and the curfew was in effect. We were stopped by an army officer and asked to produce ID's. When we did, he asked where we were heading.

We pointed towards the house and he gave us five minutes to get there. He informed us if we didn't get there fast and stay put until morning, he would arrest us....Jack's parent's graciously allowed us to spend the night and even joined us for a few cold ones.

We later learned from Pam that the bus she took home from work got stuck behind a truck that had jackknifed on the Weymouth side of the Fore River bridge. The police took her and other commuters to Saint Jerome's church in Weymouth, by snowmobile!!

February 6 & 7, 1978 for many an experience they would like to forget. 
For some it was a tragedy and for others an adventure. 
Many were inconvenienced and many displaced. 
Loss of property, 2000 homes, thousands of cars and personal 
possessions that can never be replaced was wide spread.
 
54 lives lost in New England.

This was 'The Blizzard of '78'.
Below are some stories from the residents of Hull, MA
  who lived through one of the biggest storms to ever hit the town. 

If you'd like to tell your story too, send it to me and I'd be glad to add it.
Send to Bruce Simons
Lillian Willis who was the cook manager of the cafeteria at Memorial School wrote this next account of the Blizzard of '78. She was living on H Street at the time.

Just after dawn I received a phone call from the Fire Chief notifying me that if I didn't get over to the Memorial School kitchen pronto that they would have to break the locks on the walk-in refrigerator to get milk for some children. I had no idea of the disaster that had hit Hull overnight. The only thing that had happened at my house was that we had lost the electricity.

I dressed hurriedly, grabbed my kitchen keys and headed for the school 3 blocks away. The streets hadn't been plowed well and I could hear, but couldn't see, the sound of some large machinery ahead of me. I walked on the edge of the road so I could jump into a yard if whatever was making the noise came at me through the blinding snow.

I arrived at the Memorial School to find a few hundred people in the cafeteria. The firemen had hung their socks and gloves all over my stove; the floor was very wet. This is when I learned about the flood conditions all over town. The first thing I did was open cans of soup; the Police and Firemen were cold, wet & hungry.

Joanne Fallon, my right arm gal, came to help. She lives right across the street. They had just purchased a new car; the Army picked it up with a front-end loader and dumped it in a neighbor's yard.

For the next ten days we kept the kitchen open. Here are some of my memory highlights:

1) The Rabbi and family were here. All the kosher food we had was tuna & eggs and a few tomatoes.

2) The diabetic group had to be fed on time and needed O.J. All we had was a 1/2-gallon.

3) The janitors were a great help; they pitched in to serve breakfast. John Condito was especially helpful.

4) I usually served 250 meals for school lunch. I was serving 700-800 meals 3 times a day.

5) Some large food store in Hingham had lost its freezers and sent us all kinds of breakfast stuff. We started serving breakfast at 7:00AM. One morning at 9:30 I had a request for blueberry waffles and sausage. Needless to say they were lucky to get a bowl of Corn Flakes. We also had mothers banging on our metal curtain at 6:30 in the morning saying their kids were up and wanted to eat.

6) My shoes fell apart from being wet for 4 days. I put elastics on them to hold the sole on.

7) The CB groups that had 4 wheel drive vehicles were a big help. They went to the Jacobs & High School to get paper goods and the chicken that was thawing for the school lunch menus.

8) Joanne and I worked 36 hours strait for the first 2 days. We went home got 6-7 hours sleep and went back to work. I don't remember what went first my voice or my legs. Thank heaven Dicky & David came by and practically carried me home.

9) I put fruit out in individual cups so people could have a snack day or night. People were sleeping in every room and on the corridor floors. The padding had been taken off the gym walls and used to mattresses.

10) I had brought a deck of cards for the people to use and pass around. I never saw them again.

11) Cases of food were coming in to be passed on to the refuges. They were stored in the wood shop. Dog & cat food was given to the Animal Rescue League.

12) We had some people from the Weymouth Air Base stationed in the building.

13) We heard that 2 women on the third floor were in "business"!

14) The rumor that measles was around was false.

15) The Sahara Bread Co. sent us a gazillon packages of their bread. It was a staple for days. It puffed up real nice on top of the stove.

16) By day 5 some people were leaving, by day 10 all were gone. The families that were staying in the Hingham Motel sent the children to school for breakfast.

At home David had plans to get Nana (Ruth Miller). He was going to bundle her up well and put her in our canoe and tow her to our house from K Street, so she would be warm. We had the gas heater in the cellar. Just as he was about to leave, a friend of his with a 4-wheel drive came by; they went to Nanas rescue.

Lobsters had come in the high floods, so David and Ken took a walk and picked them out of the hedges. We had a little camper in the back yard. It had a gas stove so we did all the cooking out there (I had an electric stove).

Rick and Pat  came to tell us they were getting married. The National Guard had to check Rick's driver's license to let him come into Hull.

Dick was working at the Memorial School 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

The only part of the disaster that I saw was the snow and on one tide the ocean came across the bayside field and a short way down M Street.


This page was last updated on: September 29, 2017
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Subject: my '78 blizzard story : from Winooski, VT Gisella Oppedisano

            Well, the blizzard of '78 was certainly infamous!  It  made headlines in the small, northern  town of Winooski, (just outside of Burlington, VT).  Well, Winooski doesn't get much excitement locally, except from us college kids.  

I  was a junior, attending St. Michael's College during that blizzard. Someone was sitting in the living room of the home that myself and five other girls lived in.  I happened to pass by, and heard the name HULL, MA.  I was stunned.  HULL making the news in Winooski ? ?   What was going on ?  

I tried to call for several days, and couldn't get through.  I was frantic.  I was especially concerned for my mom, who was always youthful and energetic,  but disabled, and confined to a wheelchair.  I later found out that our home, located across the street from the Hull Light Company, was fine! I remember being very relieved.  If you recall, the Hull Light building has the bay behind it, and the ocean was a football field's length away.  I was sure, my house was going for a dip in the ocean.  

I later found out that my mom and sister and brother ended up at our next door neighbor's house since they had a fireplace, and were able to keep warm there.  I give all of you that had to personally experience this storm a LOT of credit.  I was 225 miles away and still scared!    Well, that is my "away from Hull" experience of the Blizzard of '78!     Gisella Oppedisano '75

Stories by:
 
Rosalyn Simons
 
Kim Gustafson Moore
 
Nancy Homer Ware
 
Robert Manville
 
Heather Burns
 
Laurie Manville
 
Nancy Neal Hashey
 
Lillian Willis
 
Gisella Oppedisano
 
Steve Morris
 
Page Two
 
STORM PHOTO'S
 
15 minutes of fame
The next group of stories are from comments left in the Guestbook.

Robert Manville: now living in Virginia.

Who will ever forget THE BLIZZARD OF '78!  We lived on 118 Central Ave and I remember it was so cold in our house that our fishtank froze. 

Paula Naab: now living in Florida.

I was in the ninth grade in 78. Luckily, we were high and dry overlooking the Showboat. George Washington Blvd. looked like a raging river. My Dad took tons of pictures all over the place and published a little book: Havoc Hits Hull.

I also remember being thankful for having a gas and wood  burning stove. Missing a ton of school was certainly a highlight too!

Heather Burns.
     
I was 8. We lived at I think 111 Manomet Ave. Scuba divers came in to shut of our electricity, and days later we left in boats, to the middle school, then to the Waltons on U St. were we stayed for some time. 

Laurie Manville from D street.
  
Hi I am Laurie Manville and my cousin Robert Manville who lives in Virginia wrote to you about his experiences during the bizzard.

I was living on 37 "D" Street and had lived there for 18 years.  I am now 31 years old. My father carried me out onto an army truck to go the Memorial Middle School.  It was awful.  All I was thinking about was my cat and where he was.  I got chicken pox and so did my dad.  I thought we were going to die.  It was not a fun experience.  We ended up going up to my aunt's house who lived on Atlantic House Road and she had lights and heat, so we were alright.  We had nothing at our house.  My mom wouldn't leave, and she caught pneumonia.  We lost everything in our house and in the cellar.  We stayed at my grandmother's house on Nantasket Avenue for at least a month.  We didn't have school for over a month.  I will never forget it.  
    
Nancy Neal Hashey: lived on P Street. Now lives in Florida.

I remember that storm like it was yesterday. The ocean and the bay met at
my front door as I was carrying out my daughter under one arm and my dog in
other. The Manville boy's were coming down the street to help us up to higher ground which was at the Orlandes house. 

All the neighbors the Manville's, the Burkes everyone on our street stayed at their house as the storm continued into the night. My husband and my youngest son stayed at our house to try to save what ever they could but when those waves came down the street six feet of water just poured into our cellar so they had to leave.

We all spent the night together with all our friends in front of a fire place and had a real good time as the storm continued.  

In the morning of the next day we all went to our homes to see the damage. Our pool was filled with salt water and we had lobsters in our drive way.

The down stairs was a wreak from all the water and it was just finished as a bedroom and playroom.  As the water fell, things dried out. We saved almost every thing and rebuilt what we had to. It was a storm never to be forgotten and brought all of Hull's finest together.

All stories and Photos Copyright © 2000-2013 Bruce E. Simons. All rights reserved.
 Here is the story Steve Morris sent me.
 
The start of the storm was a typical February day.  My  wife, Dede (Dee, Dorothy)  (Jepsen), left for work at Norwell Knoll as a nurses' aide. We were living at 42 Edgewater Road and I was attending Leland Powers School of Broadcasting at Fenway Park (now the NESN studios). 
 
It was not a school day, so I was caring for my son, who was 2½.  The snow started and it was not a big deal.  We expected snow in February.
 
As the day continued, the snow was piling up.  Living on a hill, the ocean (and as Gisella said) nor the bay was a concern.  The snow continued to fall.  The news was showing Route 128 and the mass of cars stuck.  Dede called to say, she was stuck at work, both because the nursing home needed her and the roads were closed.
 
As the house chilled when the electricity was lost, my Mom, my younger brother Kevin, my son, and I huddled under an afghan on the living room floor.  The following morning, my brother Dick called (yes, the phone was still working, please give us the phone company of old!) to say he could provide heat and was coming for us.  He had an orange Plymouth van and somehow he made it from B Street to get us.
 
My 1958 Chevy was covered.   Before my older brother Dick arrived, my younger brother and I took a walk.  We saw the waves crashing over the seawall.  We saw the town bus crashed against the telephone pole in front of the Cumberland Farms across from the Monument. 
 
We got to B Street, at low tide.  There was Dick, his wife Linda (Currul), their two daughters (Laurie & Lisa), me, my Mom, JJ (my son), Kevin, and three neighbors.  We got heat from the oven, and God rest her soul, Linda was able to feed us all. 
 
As the tide rose, the ocean and the bay met.  We laughed at the fact that lobsters were walking west on B Street.  We listened to the advice on the radio to not eat them.
 
Dede was stuck at work for three days.  JJ kept asking, "Where's Mom?"  I had no answer.  How do you explain this to 2½ year old?
 
The best part was when we returned to the homestead, we got like $400 in food stamps.  So, when the lights came back, and we could travel, we shopped for food and ate like Kings.
 
The one thing that didn't happen, and I thought it might, was  because I was in broadcasting school, I decided to call my news instructor (Don Batting-WBZ) and was able to give 'feeds' for the news.  I was hoping I might get a job out of it.  It didn't happen.
 
Now, as I tell my current wife, Beth about the storm, she doesn't believe me.  Since I dragged her from New Mexico, we've not seen a storm even half as bad.  In fact, she swears, it NEVER snows here!
 
So one last request.  Mother Nature, PLEASE make it happen, so I can say, "SEE?"
 
Sam Glikin cleaning up 8 K Street
No sea water came up this end of the street. Facing west.
Four days after the storm sea water still filled the street. This guy is wearing a wet suit. Howard Hay wrote me and says that's him.
This area is several blocks from the ocean front.
The photo's on this page taken by Rosalyn (Glikin) Simons unless otherwise noted. 
Drag mouse over photo to see how it looks today.
Coburn Street facing east.
Brewster Street facing east.
Hadassah Way four days after the storm. 
Facing east.
That is a full size van in the water. 
Car
Here's Rozz being interviewed by 
Dick Amaral, Senior Producer for Chronicle
The show aired February 7, 2003 on Channel 5 at 9:00PM.
If you would like to see other sites about the Blizzard of 78 just click on the Blizzard Links button.
The Hull Lifesaving Museum's exhibit for the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard of 78 ran
February 8, 2003 through June.

For more information please below here on the Museum.
David Willis took this photo of the sea wall at the end of Coburn St after things warmed up.
A new book about the Blizzard of 78, "Storm of the Century: New England's Great Blizzard of 1978", written by Christopher J. Haraden, can be ordered by following this link.   
Rozz on camera again. We went to the Hull Lifesaving Museum for a story telling open house on Jan. 9 and we ended up being interviewed by Ken MacLeod of WBZ.   
After the news interview we met with Paul Black, Special Projects Producer and talked with him for a special WBZ Channel 4 is putting together.
Lillian wrote down these memories for me 22 years after the Blizzard. She recently found her hand written notes that she made right after things had settled down from the Blizzard. To see this more detailed account please follow this link. You will also find some tributes to Lillian taken from the Memorial Memories booklet from Feb. 2001
Car
Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003: Blizzard Memories                                        
For some, the Blizzard of 1978 was a time for heroism; for others, it was  business as usual. Chronicle turns the clock back 25 years to revisit the meteorological moment of recent history.                       
                                                                                                     
Ron Gollobin talks to the people in the eye of the storm, the rescue and fire personnel who did their job in the teeth of winds, snow and tides.    

Peter Mehegan recalls his own interesting commute to work, on cross-country skis, as he looks at how the media did its work despite the Blizzard.                                                                                                                                                                                        
And Harvey Leonard recalls the challenging task of predicting the course of New England's storm of the century.          
Fox 25 aired their Blizzard of 78 segment on Thursday, Feb 6 at 10:00 PM
This is the bottom of the Blizzard of 78 page one
The poor folks from NECN had a car accident while on their way to Hull. So we missed that interview.
www.hullnantasket.com
By Kim (Gustafson) Moore who was living on Malta Street.

I have to say that my memories are terrible.  I miscarried my first child during the blizzard of 78.  It was a frightening experience.  I actually went outside right after the power went out and I saw this darkness creeping up the street (it was a full moon and because of the light you didn't need the street lights).  I thought to myself... what on earth is that?!!  Then I heard it... it was the ocean!!!  

I lived on Malta Street, in fact 10 Malta Street on the third floor.

When I saw the ocean coming up the street I ran to the house yelling to the other residents to move their cars that the ocean was coming.  By the time I ran to the house to tell everyone, it was too late.  The water came in so fast that two of the cars stalled and couldn't move.  We tried to push but the water was getting deep so fast we were scared to we left the cars and ran back to the house.  My car had a dead battery at the time so it didn't matter. I had to be taken to South Shore Hospital by the National Guard.

Interesting enough my telephone was the only telephone that stayed working throughout the entire blizzard.  Everyone else lost their service.  The pipes in the apartment froze and I remember we had to boil the clean snow down to use for water.  (We made sure there wasn't any yellow snow).

In 2007 I have been contacted for photo's to be used in The Weather Channels - 100 Biggest Weather Moments. The Blizzard of 78 was # 92 on their list.  
Photo's from this web site are 
featured in the Weather Channels 
newest project. 
100 Biggest Weather Moments
There is also a new book in the works that will feature photo's from this site.
The Blizzard of '78 will never be forgotten by the people who experienced such the frightening storm. Their stories have been and will continue to be passed down through generation to generation.When the storm stopped, it left a wide range up clean-up in its wake. The Northeast was now battling an array of cars stuck inice and snowin the streets. Plows couldn't cut through the mass of snow and ice, littered with cars, and if they did they had no where to put the snow.Throughout the Northeastclean-upwas prominent,Busy Bee Cleaning Serviceswould have been quite the help had it had snow removing services in addition to cleaning services New York and beyond.As cleaning services New York had their job cut out for them, New England was truly in a state of emergency.