Blizzard of 1978 sticks in mind of Indiana residents 35 years later

Massive storm paralyzed Indianapolis for days

INDIANAPOLIS - Do you remember where you were 35 years ago on Jan. 25?

If you lived in central Indiana, you were probably snowed in during the Blizzard of '78, which buried parts of the area in up to 40 inches of snow.

Blizzard of '78 Pics: http://www.theindychannel.com/weather/images-blizzard-of-78

It was the worst snowstorm to ever hit the state and stopped just about everything in central Indiana for days.

Officially, 15.5 inches of snow fell at the airport, but some places north of the city had more than 3 feet of snow. The entire city was shut down, including Indianapolis International Airport, which closed because of whiteout conditions.

The blizzard raged on for three days, packing blinding snow and whiteout conditions, with wind gusts of up to 60 mph and wind chill temperatures that dipped to 50 below zero.

Snowdrifts piled up to 20 feet high, making travel all but impossible. National Guard tanks were deployed to rescue stranded motorists.

The Blizzard of '78 became the measuring stick by which all other winter storms have been measured ever since in Indiana.

"That is still the storm of record," said StormTeam 6 meteorologist Kevin Gregory. "That three-day odyssey led us to our snowiest month on record with just over 30 inches of snow in Indianapolis."

As bad as it got in Indianapolis, it was worse in other parts of the state. The official storm total was 36 inches in South Bend.

The Blizzard also hit Illinois, Michigan and Ohio extremely hard. There were 70 storm-related deaths, 51 of them in Ohio.

The storm also wrought massive flooding in Kentucky and points southward, where the storm is remembered as the Flood of '78.

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