TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - WTOL Weather Staff
Joe Ashton delivered weather reports for WTOL for nearly twenty years. He passed away in 2001.
His wife Paula remembers the Blizzard of 78 like it was yesterday.
"I used to work part-time for the man down the street. I called his wife and said, tell the boss I won't be in the morning, because we're going to have a blizzard. Well how do you know that? I said, I'm married to the weather man! And she said, 'they're not always right,'" says Ashton.
But, Joe was right. More than a foot of snow, and wind gusts up to 80 miles an hour paralyzed Northwest Ohio.
WTOL's very own Dave Carlson remembers going to work, and staying for days.
"When the snow and wind came, we really didn't have much choice. We had to stay, and I think all of the stations were on almost 24 hours a day with the storm information because it was so serious."
It's the type of storm where everyone remembers were they were or where they were stuck.
Life on the Road in 1978
One of the most serious aspects of the storm: automobiles stuck in the snow as visibility was near zero (true whiteout).
The changeover to front-wheel drive had only just begun, so many cars on the road in 1979 were rear-wheel drive.
These cars were also not as airtight and lacked many of the luxuries of today's automobiles.
These things all contributed to a terrible tragedy.
13 people died stranded in their vehicles, 22 people died abandoning stranded cars.
Do you remember what type of car you were driving in 1978? Check out some lists of popular 1970s cars below.