This Day in History – January 25th, 1978

On January 25, 1978, a severe blizzard blew in to Dayton, a result of two storm systems meeting and combining over Ohio. The storms created a megastorm and impacted the Great Lakes Region, mainly Ohio. Wind gusts were recorded in Dayton up to 70 mph, 5 miles faster than the 65 mph requirement for a storm to be considered a tornado. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning that night at 9 pm.

The total amount of accumulation in Dayton was more than forty inches in January. More than a foot fell on just one day, January 26th. Volunteers dug out people stranded in cars and transported them to safe shelters that were set up. The situation was so severe that Governor James Rhodes sent the National Guard in to bring supplies and help rescue stuck motorists.

Most Dayton residents were unable to get to work, and for the first time since the 1913 Flood, mail was not able to be delivered. The airport ceased all air traffic at Cox International Airport and the RTA did not put any busses on the street. Travel agencies saw record bookings for cruise ships and warmer climate destinations. Some parts of the state still had snow until May.