The Ghosts of a Blizzard Past Still Provide a Dose of Realty to Snowstorms - 35 Years Later

If the approaching storm mirrors 1978, Vernon is prepared to assist those stranded.

It was the most unexpected discussion in Thursday's storm-preparedness conference call involving Vernon officials.

But Emergency Management Director Michael Purcaro said it was one that needed to take place.

Fire Marshal Ray Walker brought up the Blizzard of 1978, he said. He brought up the abandoned cars and the stranded motorists walking in and out of the massive snow drifts on the state's highways, up the ramps and wandering around towns seeking shelter.

They were surreal figures - apparitions walking out of the white wilderness and into the towns, but in turn, they made the storm all too real. 

"Leave it to Ray to think of it," Purcaro said. "But it was am important discussion. We will not leave anyone stranded. If the storm is that bad, and we see people walking off the ramps, we will make every effort to pick them up and take them to a hotel."

The town will not be taking calls for rides - officials were clear about that, but anyone stranded out in the storm will likely get a ride to safe haven by a first-responder, Purcaro said. 

"Our priority is safety," he said. "We will need to keep people off the roads so we can get the snow cleared."


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