Storm of the Century - Peter Ross' Perspective

2:46 PM, Jan 25, 2008   |    comments
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When the Blizzard of 78 hit, I had the rare priviledge of telling my fellow University of Massachusetts students that the university was closed. I was a senior at the time, and spent much of my time as news director of the student-run radio station, WMUA-FM. UMass-Amherst rarely closes, so we knew this storm was BIG. Actually, however, it was bigger on the eastern side of the state, where I grew up. That was unusual, since the coast and greater Boston tend to get less snow than western Massachusetts. I recall watching the local newscasts from Boston TV stations. They told amazing stories of commuters trapped in their cars on Route 128 - the highway that rings Boston. Some people died. Others spent a day or two trapped, snowbound, inside their cars, before crawling to the nearest home where they stayed for days with strangers. It seemed that storm took most weather forecasters by surprise. Never again, they vowed. Since then, local broadcasters appeared to have paid extra attention to the prospect of any snow. Before the blizzard, snow seemed to be a normal part of life. Since then, many TV and radio stations have made winter weather - of any level - a major focus.

Peter Ross

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