Blizzard beats boat: The Blizzard of ’78

Capsized and Ice Locked

Blizzard beats boat, photo by John Russell

Oh ice, I can’t stay mad at you, even when you misbehave like this.

Associated Press photographer John Russell shared this photo from January 29, 1978. He writes:

My office 37 years ago: Marty Lagina stands on the frozen pier at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy on January 29, 1978, viewing the capsized training vessel Allegheny, which capsized from ice buildup during the Blizzard of ’78. This image was on assignment for TIME magazine, who had seen my b&w image on the UPI wire and wanted a color image.

Marty and I were lucky – the sky cleared and the wind stopped for about 20 minutes, then the storm began again. I wondered at the time who TIME knew to make that happen….

The photo was taken in Traverse City, ground zero for the blizzard Seeking Michigan shared info about one of Michigan’s most significant winter storms:

On January 26-27, 1978, snowstorms with fifty-to-seventy-mile per hour winds pummeled much of Michigan. Snowfall totals ranged from eighteen inches in Lansing to an incredible fifty-one inches in Traverse City. More than 100,000 cars were abandoned on roads and highways, and travel was impossible for days. Governor William G. Milliken declared a state of emergency on January 26 and activated the National Guard to assist with the cleanup. The governor also requested financial assistance from the federal government and estimated damage totals to be more than $25 million, not including lost productivity from workers who were unable to get to their jobs.

Click through to view his photo bigger and friend John on Facebook – his “My Office” series is a great look at what’s happening all over Michigan.

PS: Sorry for all the pics from Leelanau/Traverse City lately. Sometimes it just works out that way…

3 thoughts on “Blizzard beats boat: The Blizzard of ’78

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