Roads were drifted shut and if you were able to get out of the parking lot, there was no guarantee that the journey would last long.
Jackson Street, one of the main downtown streets, had more snowmobile traffic than motor vehicles. Law enforcement agencies were pleading for people with four-wheel drive vehicles and snowmobiles to help get people to the hospitals and deliver medications where needed.
The two newspapers were printed every day of the blizzard. But because delivery was impossible, they sat on the loading dock. They were all delivered when the roads became passable.
It was an eerie feeling to walk onto a street that would normally be buzzing with weekday traffic and see no one. It reminded me of a picture of Edmund Hillary buffered against the snow and wind when he first scaled Mount Everest.
When the Anderson area began to return to some sense of normalcy, I decided to venture out to return to my home in Muncie.
I was in for a shock. A trip that should have taken about 30 minutes lasted almost two hours as I weaved my way around snowdrifts and abandoned cars along Ind. 32.
The real shock came when I got to Muncie. Because Indiana had experienced a run of mild winters in the years leading up to 1978, the mayor of Muncie in his infinite wisdom had sold off that city’s snowplows as a cost-saving venture.
That was a big mistake.
It was possible to leave Ind. 32 on the southside of Muncie and slowly make it to Ball State University, which was within a stone’s throw of where I resided.
The problem was that the side streets were closed. No plows to open a lane for traffic and cars in a hodge-podge, left by owners who gave up on digging them out.