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Buffalo's Blizzard of '77:
Newspaper, radio & TV broadcasts bring the storm back to life...
By Steve Cichon, March 12,2014

BUFFALO, NY ( - It was the benchmark storm by which we measure all storms in Western New York. In killing 29 of our Western New York neighbors and cutting us off from the world (and heat, and food) for a week, this storm also gave Buffalo a greater dose of respect for the power and cruelty of what winter can bring; it's a lesson that has become a part of our DNA. While we scoff at snow and predictions of snow, deep down, we know what's possible.

We haven't had an event like the Blizzard of '77 since, and we are nearly certain to never repeat it. While we've been striken with weather with elements of that watershed snow storm-- a blizzard in 1985, 7 feet of snow in 2000, The October Surprize storm-- we as a people and a society learned from that first one and each successive one. Our civil authorities, police, fire, road crews, public weather forecasters, commercial forecasters-- everyone is ready to make sure that we remain safe during potentially deadly winter weather events.

This page is being published as the snow is beginning to fall during "Winter Storm Vulcan," which has prompted the NationalWeather Service to issue a Blizzard Warning for Western New York. We don't use the "b-word" lightly here. While it's the second blizzard warning of this unusually snowy and extremely cold winter of 2013-14, this winter marks the first blizzard warnings in 20 years.

With today's snowfall in mind, if Jimmy Griffin were with us today, he might modify that famous advice he gave during the Blizzard of '85. Sure, he'd still encourage us to stay home and grab a six-pack, but he might also encourage us to enjoy some time online, remember some long-gone names, faces and names, and remember that it could be much worse that what we're experiencing today.

--Steve Cichon | @SteveBuffalo |

From the Audio Vault...

For this tremendous collection we are indebted to longtime radio enthusiast Tom Taber, who spent the night of January 29, 1977, tuning around the radio dial at his home in Albion, NY. Much of the audio is scratchy and fades in and out, but I think that helps paint a better picture... of sitting in your bedrooom, playing with the radio while watching the snow pile up outside the window.

WKBW-- Henry Brach news

WJJL-- No power

WKBW-- Jim Quinn says don't panic

WBEN-- Jeff Kaye, then Lou Douglas News-- Marty Gleason report

WBTA-- Conditions in Pavillion

WKBW-- Jim Quinn, closings, Jon Summers- "Visit Florida" commercial, George Hamberger

WHAM-- Dick Dimecco news, David A. Senett Electric Radio Program

WBEN-- Jeff Kaye closings, Dan Neaverth-Rome Vacation, Lou Douglas news, "State of Emergency"

WCAU-- Philadelphia

WKBW-- Jim Quinn--Natl Fuel Announcement, Ad for the Executive

WJJL-- Bad signal, talking about bad weather in Niagara County

WBEN-- Jeff Kaye weather report, Lou Douglas, news, more closings- & openings for stranded folks

WCAU-- Eliminate use of natural gas

WKBW-- Irv Eyewitness News Commercial


WKBW-- Quinn, Henry Brach news, Mayor Stan Makowski via telephone

WKBW-TV -- TV audio, Don Postles

WOKR-TV-- Bowling for Dollars

WKBW-- Henry Brach, Jon Summers

WJJL-- Taking calls

tuning around

WBEN-- Jay Fredericks (Fritz Coleman)

WJJL-- suggestions when the lights go out

Bad signal audio

WWBK Brockport, WQXR NYC, phasing in and out with each other

WWBK Brockport

WKBW-- Jim McLaughlin, Jon Summers

For more great Buffalo memories...
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