Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The February 1978 Snow Storm

In 1978 I lived in Delmar and worked at NCR Corporation in Millsboro.  I also owned a Triumph Spitfire.  NCR decided to send me on a business trip to Philadelphia on February 3rd.  Since the Spitfire was not in the mechanic shop, for a change, I decided to drive it to Philadelphia.  On Thursday, February 2nd it started to snow.  By 7PM the snow was up to the bumper on the Spitfire (Okay that wasn’t that high maybe 5 inches)  and didn’t show signs of letting up.  I switched plans and decided to take the Greyhound bus to Philadelphia.  I got on the last bus leaving Salisbury about 9AM.  The driver was in a panic saying he hoped the company cancelled the bus trip. 

It was still Blizzard conditions when we left Salisbury and it just got worst on the way north.  The bus driver kept yelling out “ I can’t see the road”, instilling confidence in everyone on the bus.   A couple bus drivers who were on the bus returning to Philadelphia came and stood by his driver seat to look for the road and give him directions. 

We got as far as Odessa and the road was blocked with stalled cars in snow drifts.  The bus came to a stop and there we were, not stuck in a snow drift, but just couldn’t get around the cars in the middle of Rt13.  Still it wasn’t bad the bus was warm and seat was comfortable, if I had to spent the night it wasn’t bad. 

Out comes the Odessa volunteer Fire Company.  They beat a trail through the snow to the stalled cars and our bus.  They then made the people in the stalled cars load onto the bus and the bus had to follow the firemen back to the fire department. 

So I spent Thursday night on a steel folding chair in the fire department.  Now if you read newspaper accounts of this they will say the fire department feed us roast beef sandwiches, I remember getting a cheese sandwich and coffee.  I would have preferred to have been on the bus but the driver had locked it and turned off the engine.

About 10 AM the next day, Friday, the roads had been cleared and we continued on to Philadelphia.  It turned out to be a waste of time as Philadelphia had shut down due to the snow.  I came back on Saturday and shoveled snow in Delmar all weekend.   I think we had about 14 to 18 inches of snow but there was a lot of drifting.

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