44th Anniversary of The Blizzard of ’77
Likely the most infamous weather event in Buffalo's history (and that's quite a statement) happened exactly 44 years ago this week.
The Blizzard of '77 officially started on January 28th, 1977 and lasted until February 1st. Wind gusts were as high as 69 mph with 100 inches of snow in some areas.
The real reason the blizzard was so bad was because that was an especially brutal winter, with Buffalo getting 140-150 inches of snow before the blizzard began. Lake Erie froze over earlier than ever (December 12th) and 68 inches of snow had fallen in January, leading up to the blizzard. Western New York was a sitting duck when the storm hit.
Gigantic snowdrifts could be seen; burying houses, cars and blocking roadways, causing Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs to be crippled.
Cars and buses were stranded. People were stuck with no ways to get home and the wind chill dropped to 60 below zero in the matter of hours. People had to take shelter at local hotels, motels and even the Memorial Auditorium, where an 80-foot section of the roof was torn off.
I remember my dad having stories of him and my late grandfather braving the elements to get to a quick mart to stock up on supplies, which was easier said than done, obviously. My mom had incredible stories as well, since she just had my older half-brother, who was just a baby.
Even though I was not alive then, I do hear the stories of Buffalonians coming together to help one another out. Whether it was digging people out of their cars or getting them out of their homes. That sentiment of comradery was shared in later epic Buffalo weather events, such as the November 2000 snow storm, the October Surprise Storm of 2006, and Snowvember in 2014.
The Blizzard of '77 though was where the rest of the country got there snow stereotype of Buffalo. It does snow here, maybe a lot (especially south of Buffalo), but I don't care. This is the best place I could ever want to grow up.