Thursday, January 19, 2012

White Death - The Blizzard of '77 -- Book Review

DH bought this book for me many years ago. I did read it but I have not picked it up in years. Cleaning out the bookshelf I came across it again. Time to re-read it.

So what actually happened?

This is taken from the White Death website
"Natural Disaster Strikes
On Friday, January 28, 1977 a natural disaster struck Canada and the United States. Southern portions of the province of Ontario and parts of western and northern New York State were besieged by the blizzard of the century and millennium. During this winter hurricane, the temperature plunged to near zero Fahrenheit as hurricane force winds roared across the frozen surface of Lake Erie. Temperature and wind combined to create a wind chill of 60 below zero. Visibility was also zero and remained there from 11:30 a.m on the 28th until 12:50 a.m on the 29th of January. The storm did not subside until February. Wind gusts over 50 miles per hour occurred each day with official peaks ranging between 69 and 73 miles per hour.

Ten Thousand Square Miles of Ice

Lake Erie has a surface area of ten thousand square miles. This water surface had frozen by December 14th, 1976 an early freezing record. Here formed a desert of ice that was flatter than any prairie or desert of sand. As hurricane force winds swept across the frozen lake, no natural barriers broke the force of the sweep so that the northeast shore areas felt the full blast of this natural disaster.
The deep snow that had built up on the surface of the lake had not melted during the cold month of January so that ten thousand square miles of snow powder blew inland from the frozen surface of Lake Erie and buried people in their cars and homes.
By the night of Friday, January 28, 1977, thousands of people were stranded in office buildings, schools, police stations, fire halls, bars, factories, cars, houses and in the homes of strangers. Most highways were impassable, train lines were blocked and airports were closed. Snow paralysis had set in during this unique winter hurricane." Rossi Erno. “White Death - The Blizzard of '77".

I have lived in the Niagara Region since 1987 & have seen some snow but even with all the photos displayed in the book and in the White Death photo gallery on their website I still cannot imagine that amount of snow.

Very good book. Well worth the read and re-read!! & as the last sentence in the books says "Beware of Snowflakes!"



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