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NOTE: This is one of the fun stories from my book, You Wouldn’t Believe! 44 Strange and Wondrous Delmarva Tales. You can find more information about the book–including how and where to buy it–at this link.

Deep freezes used to be commonplace affairs on the Delmarva Peninsula. Newspapers and diaries from the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s are stippled with reports of cold spells so deep that miles-wide rivers froze up nearly from shore to shore, to the point where schooners and even steamboats couldn’t get through. When thaws began, giant ice floes rode the waves, toppling screwpile lighthouses and ripping oyster boats out of secure moorings.

As of this writing, nearly half a century has passed since the last genuine Delmarva deep freeze. But that last one was a doozy! Between mid-December 1976 and mid-February of 1977, the peninsula endured two months of temperatures so bone-chillingly cold that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency rated it as the “coldest winter on the East Coast since maybe the founding of the Republic.”

By Christmas Day the ice had started inching out from creeks and rivers into the Chesapeake Bay. The freeze soon reached into vast expanses of water that almost never see ice. The late photographer Bob Grieser took a famous shot showing dozens of people ice skating off the shores of Kent Island under the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Another of his shots has one kid driving a tractor on the ice, while the other hangs on for dear life atop the sled tied to that tractor.

Sharing the Misery: Snow in Miami!

Delmarva residents did not shiver alone that winter. During this same period, 49 East Coast cities recorded record low temperatures. Snow fell in the Miami area for the only time in recorded history. Incredibly, the same thing happened on Grand Bahama Island.

Meteorologists at the time were a bit mystified. Some attributed the freeze to a strange and out-of-place stretch of high pressure over the Mississippi River Valley, which forced to the south a cold front that in any normal season would have stayed hundreds of miles to the north.

Back on Delmarva, shipping in the Chesapeake and Delaware bays slowed to a standstill. Two barges carrying a combined 1 million gallons of heating fuel got stuck, one at the mouth of the Wicomico River and the other at the mouth of the Nanticoke River. Government officials issued dire warnings about the imminent need to ration supplies of home heating fuel. Those fears never came to fruition, but it was the first time anyone on the Eastern Shore had thought about fuel rationing since World War II.

President Jimmy Carter declared a state of emergency for the area in a nationally televised address in which he famously wore a casual cardigan while urging everyday Americans to turn down their thermostats. The hit television series Roots aired in January of 1977—folks watched it with multiple blankets piled atop their laps.

Winter Wonderland

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Maryland's Eastern Shore in the winter of 1977/78

An aerial view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Baltimore Sun).

The ice skating in that famous Bob Grieser photo wasn’t the only type of fun the locals engaged in during the deep freeze. In St. Michaels the yacht-racing crowd on the Miles River got busy attaching gliders to their boats and conducting hastily planned ice races. Writing in the “Beautiful Swimmers” blog of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Ken Noble recalled a magical day in Chestertown, Md. when he and a friend “skated from High Street to Quaker Neck Landing and back—about 13 miles down” the Chester River. He marveled:
We could very well have skated to Baltimore!

The freeze left Smith Islanders out of touch with civilization for nine long weeks. They did catch a bit of a break when, on orders from Governor Marvin Mandel, the state had essentials flown in by helicopter. Captain Eddie Somers, a native Smith Islander, put the deep freeze in perspective this way:

It seems like each generation of watermen has a benchmark winter that stands out to them. For my dad, it was 1936. For my grandfather, it was sometime in the teens. For me, it was 1977. That was the worst ice I’ve seen. No one was working.

Watermen up and down the Shore found themselves in the same bind. With hundreds of workboats idled, seafood processing houses had to shut down for lack of oysters. Thousands of people flocked to unemployment offices in search of temporary benefits. Oyster prices soared to a then-unprecedented $10 a bushel.

But watermen are a resourceful breed. Soon, some of them started operating in the manner of Inuit hunters up in the Arctic, or Minnesota fishermen. They hauled out chain saws to cut holes in the ice and commenced hand tonging. In order to get their catch to shore, they had to buy up just about every child’s sled in stock at stores all over the Eastern Shore.

"Floebergs" of ice on the Chesapeake Bay in the winter of 1977/78 on Maryland's Eastern Shore

“Floebergs” of ice on the Chesapeake Bay in the winter of 1977

In Sussex County, Del., residents took it upon themselves to venture out on missions of mercy to feed the large numbers of waterfowl who were unable to feed on frozen farm fields. At one point, the state’s chief biologist trucked half a ton of corn into the Indian River area near Bethany Beach.

There is one place today where you can get a first-hand look at the impact of the deep freeze, though you’ll need a boat to get there. The combination of strong tides and heavy ice tilted Sharps Island Light (near Tilghman Island, Md.) by an angle of 15 degrees. Folks back then were sure that the light was going to topple over before the freeze came to a close.

It’s the only caisson-style beacon in the Chesapeake Bay to ever suffer that kind of damage. After the thaw experts replaced the old glass lens with a new plastic one that was mounted on a leveling plate to compensate for the strange angle. Yup, it’s still tilted out there—our own Eastern Shore Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Jessie Marsh was a 12-year-old boy living on Smith Island that winter. He would grow up to become an educator with Chesapeake Bay Foundation—a few years ago, he served up this vivid memory in a foundation newsletter:

This one morning we woke up, and there were these giant white walls on the whole west side of the island. The ice on the main part of the Bay had broken up in the wind, and the westerly winds had driven it into the shore. The ice had piled up, and they looked like icebergs, but they were actually ice piles. They were as high as 40 feet tall, walls of ice on the whole west side of the island.

Skating Down Memory Lane

Pretty much every year as winter arrives I post a little something on Facebook about the winter of 1977. It’s such a rich memory for so many folks. I have put earlier versions of this story up on the Secrets of the Eastern Shore website, too. In both places, people love sharing memories of the last great Eastern Shore deep freeze.

A few samples:

Winter of 1977 Cars on Ice Photo 1977 from FB Page Dorchester Somerset and Talbot Workboats

Cruisin’ on ice (Dorchester, Somerset, and Talbot Workboats Facebook page)

Janet Van Horn: I walked across the [Chesapeake] Bay that year!

Terry Norville: OMG, people were driving cars on the ice!

Maeve Finn: Being 16 at that time, all I have are fond memories of that winter. I lived on the Choptank River. Everything was frozen and white. You would step off the sea wall onto ice. Your private ice river! I would wear two coats, the second one a no-sleeve vest. All you had to do was open it up [the outer coat] like you were flashing someone and, BAM, you were off! So fast it felt as if you were flying. We got good at this. We learned to use the inner vest almost as if it were a rudder.

Jon Abbott: I remember the hardship my parents and other watermen families endured that winter.

Sue Haddox: Shhhh, don’t tell my dad, but we did donuts on the ice in Ed’s Mustang.

A man calling himself “Major”: I’ve got pics of my old man and his friends seven miles off the Eastern Shore of Virginia, standing on twenty-foot-tall pressure ridges during that freeze.

Sharps Island Light at Angle Today

The leaning Sharp’s Island Light

Susan Webster: That was the year the ocean froze at Ocean City. It was eerie standing on the beach and hearing nothing, no waves.

Louise Windsor: It was about 13 weeks that the Deal Island Harbor was iced over, so bad that several boats broke apart from the pressure of the ice. I remember National Geographic came down and did a lot of photos, many aerial photos which were published in their magazine. It was a devastating time but so awesomely beautiful too.

Terri Pleasanton: I was 18 and dating a guy whose family was from Tangier Island. We took the mail boat over to attend a New Year’s party that year. Long story short, we were stuck there for a week! I sat in the bathroom next to a kerosene heater reading a stack of National Geographics. After a week my mother hired a plane to pick us up. I’d never flown before, was scared to death. I remember looking down and seeing the Coast Guard cutters trying to get through.

Tina Swift: I remember that we still had to go to school!

Lenny Thomas Jr.: That’s the freeze when I was 11 years old. I almost died. It was 30 mph winds. We skated out [such a long way, and] I tried to skate back. I was so cold. I was trying to fall asleep. I wanted to go to sleep. My buddy got home, and somebody rescued us.

Alice McJilton-Fox: I remember the Wicomico River being frozen solid that year. Coast Guard cutters had to come up and down the river to break up the ice so oil barges could get through. What a noise the ice made when it was breaking up, an eerie sound, especially during the middle of the night!

Patti Willis: I remember watermen were tonging out of the backs of pickup trucks parked on the Chesapeake Bay.

Do you have winter of 1976/77 memories to share? Feel free to add them in here in the comments below. I will jump back in here once in a while and add the best images and anecdotes to the main story here.

Thanks so much for spending a little time with this story. Here again is where you can find information about You Wouldn’t Believe! and my other books.

—Written by Jim Duffy for Whimbrel Creations LLC/Secrets of the Eastern Shore. All rights reserved.


  • Feb. 3 1978 my son was born in Salisbury,Md. He developed complications after birth and the hospital had to make a decision. He needed tests to be done quickly and more snow was on the way. They decided to call the Md.State Police for help.The State Police at that time did not keep a helicopter on the Eastern Shore. The only one available was on the western side of the bay. When the chopper landed on the roof of the hospital, it made a lovely sight of snow falling all around. It was not a lovely sight for me.They came with a warm incubator, a doctor and a nurse and away they went with my 2 day old son to Baltimore. It snowed for the next day and a half. He stayed up there for a week. Coast Guard ice breakers were coming up the Chesapeake when we went to Baltimore to bring him home.My son is now a fine young man. I will always be thankful for the Md.State Police that day and I will never forget the sight of the bay being frozen over.

  • Holly Hagelin says:

    One thing I remember; that duck/goose blinds were lifted off their pilings – which also were pulled up and out and as the ice shifted with the tides, were demolished. Lots of piers were also lifted up to several feet above their height and has to be rebuilt the next summer.

  • Charles says:

    I was only a couple of years old and don’t remember it, but not long ago my parents were talking about this. My father remembers there not being any open water due to the ice, and there being all kinds of waterfowl in the field behind our house. I am talking about canvasbacks, redheads, blue bills, and other diving ducks that never leave the deep water. I would have loved to have seen that.

  • Joe Gillin says:

    Not to be a nit-picker, but some of the dates in the media links (e.g. the January 14, 1977 dateline on the Washington Post article) confirm my personal memory that the super frigid winter on the East Coast was actually 1976-77. The following winter, 1977-78 was not quite as cold but was very snowy, which also would have caused hardships for many people. I think memories of these two harsh winters are blurring together.

  • Rick Carey says:

    I remember the snowstorm that February. We got socked in and couldn’t get out until a guy across the road came through in a huge front-end loader. My daughter was born 9 months later.

  • Rick Carey says:

    The statement that that year’s snow was the first recorded snow in Miami is false. I had a landlord in 1976 who went to Miami and had a car accident while there due to snow.

  • Michael Roark says:

    I remember it quite vividly. I arrived for my first stint at St. Francis de Sales Church on Oct. 4, 1976, from Wilmington, having been told that Salisbury was unimaginably far south and the weather there so much better. Disappointment set in as morning after morning I undertook the block-long trek from the rectory to the church with no amount of bundling up able to resist the icy winds coming off the icy river. Toward the end of the adventure I went over to Ocean City and was duly astounded by ice floes many feet high piled on the beach. Every subsequent winter of that stay, 1976-80, and the next, 1999-2007, represented a vast improvement.

  • E. Marcus Thomas says:

    I remember this time also . We ice skated every day after school. If you skated with the wnd you could go long and far. Therefore you had to be careful not to skate too far . I remember skating to far and making it home long after dark half frozen and exhaused from fighting the wind and cold to get home. Then there was also handtonging threw the ice. What times they were.

  • Chuck Stoddart says:

    I have many pictures I will share from Lewes, Delaware. WHAT A WINTER!!! I was age 12 in ’77 and made a fortune shoveling driveways including sidewalks for $10 for both. Nowadays kids wouldn’t do it for $100 for both because XBOX is much more important!


  • Kurt Bailey says:

    What I remember is that I left the Shore for California that fall! My first Thamksgiving there was around 80 degrees and people were enjoying their swimming pools. I heard all about it from my Mom and other friends back home..

  • Michael Lawson says:

    I remember being at Skill Johnsons house at rocky point on the moth shore of Oahu. He was showing me the front page of The Dispatch with a frozen ocean and half the pier gone. We were both thankful we missed that one!

  • Maeve Finn says:

    Being 16 at that time , all I have are fond memories of that winter. I lived on the Choptank River . Everything was frozen and white . You would step right off the sea wall onto ice. Your private ice river ! I would wear 2 coats . The second one a no sleeved vest. All you had to do was open it up like you were flashing someone and Bam… you were off ! So fast , you felt as if you were flying. We got so good at this , we learned to use the vest almost as if it were a rudder and could control direction. Of course the dogs would be trying to keep up sliding all over the place ! Then , there was the ice sailing , but with that you needed the use of a vessel and there were only a few available.. What a Winter !!!!

  • Lynn Heinmuller says:

    I learned to skate on the Miles River that winter.

  • Mike Landrum says:

    I remember sitting in Steamboat Landing restaurant in Galesville, Md watching a Volkswagen Beetle doing figure 8’s in the middle of the West River.

  • Al Ulrich says:

    My daughter was born middle of Jan.,1977. I took my brother to the hospital with me, to sit in the car and keep the engine running while I went in to check my wife and new born daughter out of the hospital.

  • Vernon Shiflett says:

    Was in Ocean City with Peg and the Kellys from Westminster and we could actually walk out on the Ocean for about 300/400 yards. Never heard of the Ocean freezing before or since!! It turned out to be one of the funniest weekends of my life. We headed back to South Baltimore in the driving snow and could barely get up Hamburg Street. The poor Kellys still had to get back to Westminster. Remember this weekend well!!

  • Shelley Dryden Wagner says:

    I was working at the Crisfield Meatland and remember boxing up the items to go to Smith Island .

  • Cynthia Sterling says:

    I must be the only person to get divorced during this winter. LOL

  • Bill Davis says:

    The National and international ice boat races were in St. Michaels. The river in New Jersey had a lot of snow on it so they brought them down to St. Michaels, where the ice was reportedly three feet thick. It was smooth as glass. It was a sight to see people from all over the world. There were actually Dutch people with wooden shoes. It was a trip to sail an ice boat at 60 miles an hour, lying flat.

  • Jamie Justice says:

    My family walked across the Susquehanna River at Wrights landing between Lancaster and York Counties. It was windy and cold and the ice would suddenly make loud booming noises like a cannon. You could see fish frozen in the ice.

  • Beverly Elliott says:

    My husband to be was tonging on ice on Hambrooks Bay that winter. I was afraid I would lose the groom before the wedding. He survived and we will celebrate 40 years of marriage this February. God is good!

  • Major says:

    I’ve got pics of my old man and his friends seven miles off the esva standing on twenty foot tall pressure ridges during that freeze…

  • Steve Boone says:

    I lived in the DC area then, and the Potomac had 18″ of ice on it. People descended from all over to get near the Tidal Basin so they could skate on the Potomac. Hundreds of people, so many that the Park service was worried.

    I skated down as close to the 14th St. Bridge as I could and as far north as the Key Bridge and crossed over to the Virginia side a few times before stopping to get warm.

    My 22 year old body was excited. My 62 year old body might be a little less so. ;)

  • Dave Hudgins says:

    I’ve always told my kids about the winters we had on the magothy (& bay), with cars being driven across the river, and I think the bay too…although I do remember the story of one car that broke through the ice while trying to cross the bay near the bay bridge. I always mention how we lived on the ice that winter (76/77) skating every day, working to keep pier pilings from lifting up, and during melt down we would ride mini ice bugs up and down the river. Couple of times we had to break out the 12 ft john boat with the 10 hp johnson, to for an iceberg ride rescue. And then I’d always tell my kids about the monstrous snow storm we had with at least 4ft of snow and snow drifts as high as some 2 story houses. Like someone else said, I think those two winters (76/77-77/78) kinda blurred together, so thanks for clearing that up.
    Now that I’ve seen this article, I’ve got proof to my kids that I wasn’t just bragging.
    Thanks for the great memories!

  • Gerry Negley says:

    I lived in Fenwick Island Delaware. The ocean was frozen out about 600 yards, not smooth ice, but big chucks that would creak as the ocean water pushed on it. The ocean did not actually freeze per se, the ice moved out from the Delaware bay during a thawing spell, floated down along the coast and then refrozen….

    Have not seen anything like that since…… We did have a great time ice skating bayside……

  • My friend Bobby Duvall drove a VW from Valentine Creek (Severn River) to the Severn River Bridge and then to the Bay Bridge!!

    • Gene says:

      I was 13 at the time and remember a VW driving on the ice near the base of the Severn River Bridge. As we started up the west bound span of the Seven River Bridge, the beetle was off to the right side. It’s a small world, I wonder if it was your friend.

  • Angie says:

    This is a great article! :)

  • Gwen says:

    I lived outside Rehoboth Beach, stranded in my house w/out electric/heat. The top of the antenna on my red ’76 corvette was all I could see, it was buried by snow. Warmed soup in the fireplace and carried our mattress
    Out in front of the fireplace, but we didn’t get much sleep. Super cold!!

  • Louise Windsor says:

    It was about 13 weeks that the Deal Island Harbor was iced over, so bad that several boats broke apart from the pressure of the ice. I remember National Geographic came down and did a lot of photos, many aerial photos which were published in their magazine. It was a devastating time but so awesomely beautiful too.

  • Theresa Brown Jones says:

    I remember the hardships that the watermen went through no help with assistance for food or unemployment. Many people fell behind in house payments and were close to foreclosure.My son was born in November of 1976 and we did not go anywhere with him except doctor’s appointments due to the cold.Luckily the any problem was frozen water pipes and our neighbor helped us with water.I also remember the snow storm in the sixties not sure what was the year was when my dad and had to open a window and shovel out to let the dog outside thankfully she was little and he and Mr. Bob Wagner went to Rock Hall to get milk and supplies for the neighborhood at George Myers store the only thing open. This took them almost all day pulling a sled to carry back food.The snow was as high as the telephone lines.

  • Frances McMahon says:

    The date is wrong. The ocean froze in February 1979. I was living in Century One at 99th Sreet and was five months pregnant with my daughter. I still have the newspaper article which stated that it was the coldest winter in 75 years.

    • Thank you, Frances. I believe that both the date in the story and your date are correct–there were two exceedingly cold winters in that decade with lots more freezing than we are used to now. My piece is on the earlier one, and your comment is on the later one, so now we’ve got them both covered!

  • Marge says:

    I lived in Pasadena Md. then and Lake Waterford froze one of the only times I can remember. We went ice-skating on the lake and my son was like three. He kept screaming mommy I’m cold lets go so we left. All the water around Pasadena was froze, people were walking right across. Boats were frozen where they last stayed. It was crazy, glad I was there to see it.

  • Susan Moerschel says:

    That winter I was a college junior. On the way home to Severna Park, the Bay Bridge crossing gave a birds eye view of the immense ice mosaic. The ice looked like a patchwork quilt of colors and shapes. My grandmother lived on Stoney Creek (western shore). She had a bubbler installed under the pier to keep water circulating around the pilings. This kept the pilings from rising up with the extreme cold. It worked. Except for the water under the pier, the creek with frozen solid. I only wish I had skated the creek.

  • Barbara Wheeler Tyler says:

    I was a young teacher on Smith Island that winter. The elementary school had classes from 9-3:30 and the the high school students came in from 4-6 as sort of a study hall thanks to their teachers in Crisfield who sent assignments over by helicopter. The helicopters landed in the school yard several times a day bringing supplies for the stores, medicine, etc. After about the 5th landing I could get through a lesson without all heads turning toward the windows!

  • Will skinner says:

    Lived in Havre de Grace, Md. 1976/77 The Susquehanna river froze over and it was bitter cold but at 16 years of age no problem. Skated from the B&O trussle to the yacht basin and back then up to the quarry. We cut a hole in the ice by the route 40 bridge with an ax to go fishing and caught yellow perch the ice was at least a foot thick. We didn’t trust the center of the river so we stayed on the Harford county side. 1978/79 was snowy with at least a foot of snow in one of the snow falls. Made a lot of money that year shoveling at 10$ a driveway. Had plenty of smoke that winter.

  • elizabeth sroka says:

    I would like to know who took this photo. I have seen it many times over the years. Was it originally published in the Capitol-Gazette Newspaper. This is definitely a favorite photo. It was taken the winter I married. 1976-77.

    • Elizabeth, I believe that this photo was taken by Bob Greiser when he was on staff at the now defunct Washington Star newspaper, though it might have been the now-defunct Baltimore News American too. The picture has since appeared pretty much everywhere, including here …. Later in life, Bob moved to California and continued as a photojournalist out there. He passed away early in 2017. May he rest in peace.

  • Jon says:

    I grew up in Lanham, Md. and remember the frozen Bay very well. My Dad took me to the Bay Bridge and we skated underneath it.
    Quite a phenomenon! I also remember being in Annapolis later that same year when the ice melted and saw many boats being crushed by the melting ice.

  • MikeMitchell says:

    The Sunday after New Years 2018 we went out 200yrds off Kentisland ice was 10” thick I have pictures to prove it

  • Mike Moore says:

    I was a Freshman at Potomac State College in Keyser, West Virginia. I had an old jeep that barely ran and the cold weather pretty much finished it off. Had to have it towed across the line to Frostburg to a mechanic after a bearing seized up. A lot of hitchhiking around in sub-zero weather. In the midst of this the school closed for two weeks because of heating oil shortages. I had to leave the dorm and couch surf with friends who had apartments in town. Eventually the jeep was repaired and I made my way home to Roanoke to wait for school to re-open. Good times!

  • Harold G Coleman says:

    I was working at a chemical plant in Delaware City that winter. Every steam or water leak in the plant developed huge ice mounds. As I recall, it did not get above freezing for over a month and it took weeks for the ice to melt!

  • Samuel kitching says:

    It was 1976 and 1977 when we had the big freeze we where told if the tide had been high that night it would have wiped the hole island out thank God the tide was low the next morning we had 30 to 40 feet like ice burns all up and down the bay shore the oil barge got stuck and the national guard with helicopters got fuel to use for heat from the barge and it was loaded into fuel trucks to keep the people from running out of heat different ones from the island walked clear to the ship channel in the middle of the bay

  • Jeanne Everngam says:

    It is so fascinating and entertaining to read all these memories and stories. I remember both winters very well and have two unusual funny stories to share. The summer of 1976, on the longest day of the year, my husband, Tom, and 3 friends played 100 holes of golf in ONE day to celebrate the Bicentennial. His prize for having the lowest score was a 1962 (or close) Simca that was painted red, white and blue and donated by John Brady (who at the time owned the Ford Dealership). That car already was known for constantly breaking down. Tommy sold it to a waterman for $100 and kept the $100 bill in his wallet for Years! The waterman took it out on the ice, cut a hole in order to ice fish….but the car fell thru the ice and sank
    The following year (1977/78) there was a Huge blizzard during the middle of “Tax Season”….my husband, who was a CPA, and two of his partners, who also lived in Oaklands, decided they “HAD” to get to their office to work on tax returns! BIG MISTAKE! They took turns “being the leader” thru the 18 inches or more of deep, Blowing snow into Easton……stopping at the hospital on their way for a checkup and a warm drink. Eventually they got to their office but couldn’t get home for a couple of days….so, along with many other “Business men”, they stayed at The Tidewater Inn…..Perhaps one of the highlights and most memorable outcomes of those “Determined”, Crazed “Gentlemen”! was all the publicity they received. My husband, Tom, actually got some new clients because of his Dedication.

  • Bruce Richards says:

    I wasn’t on the eastern shore, but lived in Arnold which is on a peninsula between the Magothy and Severn Rivers. I was 14 years old and my parents and I went ice skating on the Magothy with some neighbors. I can remember unzipping my jacket, grabbing by the pockets and holding the jacket out like sail and “flying” down wind. Loads of fun! The trip back upwind an hour or so later was pretty brutal though. It was physically tiring and of course ever so cold with the wind now hitting us in the face. Also remember seeing a VW beetle out on the river doing donuts. At the time I was amazed that ice could hold up a car!!

  • Terri Pleasanton says:

    I was 18 and dating a guy whose family was from Tangier Island and we took the mail boat over to attend a New Years party that year.
    Long story, short we were stuck there for a week! I sat in the bathroom next to a kerosene heater reading a stack of Natinal Geographics.
    After a week my Mother hired a plane to pick us up (never flown before, was scared to death).
    I remember looking down and seeing the Coast Gaurd cutters trying to get through.


    I remember this freeze up so well in Saxis Va on the Eastern husband is a Waterman and he was oystering at the time it stated froze up fir 6 -8 weeks here in Saxis couldnt get to work it was horrible..our congressman Paul Trible came to the firehouse in Saxis and offered us some assistance from Social Services this helped somewhat but not enough..never will forget going to Social Services filling out papers for assistance this one woman there treated us all common she acted like she was giving us help out if her own pocket..I still remember her name what a nightmare….I also remember there were 2 boys who walked over to Saxis on the ice…with only socks on …later on one of them had to have his foot amputated from frostbite..I pray to God we never c this happen again

  • Cary Jones says:

    I remember the ice cimbing up the pylons on my dock, the ocean being chuck full of ice about 300 yards out. I remember it being so cold we swore that next year if we had to endure the weather we’d be skiing in it out west rather then sitting around the house freezing in i. We went to Colorado, and while OC and the east had record amounts of snowfall in 77/78 we were in Steamboat Springs going through the first winter the west got blanked for snow, brown mountains all around. No skiing. We packed our skiis and headed for Florida and the entire trip south we listened to the truckers on their CB radios telling us we were headed in the wrong direction. Yeah we remember the freeze of 76/78….lol.

  • bruce hobbs says:

    I worked for Metrobus and I remember buses with running engines shutting off due to frozen fuel filters and using propane torches on my feet to keep them from freezing while waiting on tow trucks to come. In February of “79, Presidents day weekend, we had buses stuck all over town in snow for days before we could retrieve them.

  • Sandy Ballard says:

    My husband, CWO Porter Ballard commanded the Coast Guard Cutter Appalachee that winter and along with Coast Guard Cutter Chinook kept thd shipping lanes open. There wete no cell phone then so I did not talk to my husband but once the district office patched a radio phone call in so I could hear his voice. We lived in Rivera Beach and our house faced the bay. It I was lucky I could see the cutter going up and down the bay.

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