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The Blizzard of 1977
My project describes The Blizzard of 1977, one of the worst winter storms the Niagara Region and surrounding areas has ever experienced, lasting 5 days from January 28th - February 1st, 1977. The strong winds, heavy snowfall and freezing cold temperatures contributed to this powerful storm that went down as one of the worst storms in Canadian history. Some of the devastating after-effects of the blizzard, as well as a few recounts from people who lived through the blizzard are discussed. The Blizzard of 1977 made people aware of the impact that such a powerful winter storm can have on an area so that everyone can properly prepare in advance.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
The most interesting thing I learned while doing my research on The Blizzard of 1977 was discovering that the blizzard was actually so huge and harsh because of the fact that Lake Erie completely froze over that year. The large snow drifts that piled up on top of Lake Erie ended up blowing onto the land because of the high winds. This, combined with the heavy amounts of snow that fell in a short period of time, caused the blizzard to be so powerful and destructive. If Lake Erie or any other large lake freezes over completely, people will now be more aware of the impact that this can have during a blizzard.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
The Blizzard of 1977 is important to Canadian history and for Canadians to know about because it was one of the biggest snowstorms Canada has ever experienced and it had a huge impact on the Niagara Region. People learned a lot from the Blizzard of 1977 like how to better predict when a major storm is going to come, how to prepare for snowstorms and the possible effects of huge blizzards. In Canada, we live in a climate that has cold and often snowy weather conditions during the winter months, so taking into consideration what we learned about this blizzard will help us prepare for any future blizzards and major snowstorms that we might have.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
After conducting my research and learning all about The Blizzard of 1977, it became obvious that back in the year 1977 people were not able to prepare and handle the effects of huge blizzards like we are today. What we’ve learned from that blizzard is that things should be shut down in advance when a snowstorm is expected. For example, winter storm warnings and alerts are given on the radio, television weather stations, through social media platforms as well as through other means of communication to properly prepare and warn people about upcoming storms. Schools and other businesses are usually closed when large amounts of snow or ice are expected to fall. If people are aware of upcoming storms then they are more likely to stay at home and not drive on roads. Also, snow plows and sand and salting machines are sent out to cover the roads even before the storm is expected to hit an area. These snow plow drivers are working night and day to keep the streets and sidewalks clear. Although we have the occasional snow day today where schools and businesses are closed, it usually only lasts a day or two because communities can prepare in advance and respond more quickly before, during and after a major storm.