45 Years Ago This Week, the Blizzard of 77 Blew in to Buffalo
Having been born right after the Blizzard of '77, I can remember hearing stories about it my whole life. My mother and father used to tell me about how people had to climb out of the 2nd floor windows of their house to get outside. As bad as the stories were, life during the 5 days the storm lasted was quite terrifying.
45 years ago this week Buffalo was hit with a terrifying snowstorm that shut down most of Western New York, Southern Ontario, and Northern New York.
Starting on Friday, January 28, 1977, more than 13,000 people were stuck in Downtown Buffalo. Most roads were impassable in the region as wind gusts as high as 69 mph, causing wind chills to be as low as -40°F . Those wind gusts caused to snowdrifts in some areas to be as tall as 25 feet. There were more than 10,000 cars had been abandoned during the storm as snow totals started to rise.
The storm was so bad that both New York State Governor Hugh Carey and President Jimmy Carter declared Western New York to be in a State of Emergency. Hundreds of troops from the New York National Guard, US Army Corp of Engineers, and an engineering battalion from Fort Bragg, North Carolina poured into the Buffalo area to help with clean-up.
By the time the blizzard was done, more than 100 inches of snow fell in the Buffalo area, there were snowdrifts more than 30 feet tall, and there were 23 fatalities attributed to the storm. The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce estimated the storm caused a negative economic impact on the area of more than $200 million.
This storm is one of the reasons Buffalo has the reputation as being one of the snowiest cities in the United States.
If you're interested, you can listen to my mom talk to me about living through this storm right here on my Instagram.