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Remembering the deadly 1978 blizzard that pummeled Ohio

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jan 25, 2021

CLEVELAND — Monday marks the 43rd anniversary of a massive and deadly blizzard that pummeled Northeast Ohio resulting in the deaths of dozens of people.

On Jan. 26, 1978, the entire Midwest was hit by the ferocious storm. By the time it was over, 51 people in Ohio were dead, according to records from the National Weather Service.

Snow drifts were so large, they blanketed cars and houses. The weather was so bad that for the first time ever, authorities had to shut down the Ohio Turnpike.

The snow wrought such devastation that the Ohio National Guard was deployed to help rescue people trapped in the snow.

Snow drifts buried cars and made roads impassable. In some parts of Northern Oho, snowdrifts were tall enough to bury tractor-trailers.

Transportation, business, industry, and schools were closed statewide for two days, with the normal pace of society not returning to the state for five days, according to the National Weather Service.

During this storm, atmospheric pressure measured at 28.28 inches in Cleveland, which was the lowest pressure ever recorded in Ohio.

News 5 Photojournalist Tom Livingston contributed to this report.

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