A National Guard driver offered a ride outside the Salvation Army building in the 200 block of Broadway. (Southeast Missourian archive)
Where were you 30 years ago? I was taking pictures of the Blizzard of '79.
With Cape Girardeau shut down by two feet of snow, I was able to "get to work" with transportation provided by the National Guard.
Here are some snow scenes from Feb. 25-27, 1979.
Following is an excerpt from a Southeast Missourian story, Oct. 4, 2004:
The headline on the Feb. 27, 1979 issue of the Southeast Missourian was 3/4 inches tall and read: "New yardstick, blizzard of 1979." The entire front page was blizzard coverage.
Missourian executive editor John Blue captured the essence of the disaster in just a few sentences: "Say nothing more about the snow of 1917-1918," he wrote. "Hereafter the yardstick will be the Great Blizzard of Feb. 25, 1979.
"Researchers and reporters, delving into the weather records hereafter will use this as their reference point -- and what a point it is. Never, at least in recorded city history, has there been anything like it.
"Cape Girardeau is paralyzed. Nothing moves but emergency vehicles and a few with four-wheel drives authorized by police. All others are subject to arrest.
"Grocery stores, doing a rush of walk-in business, are running out of bread, milk and other staples. Businesses are shut down. There are no burials -- the bodies are being held until the weather moderates.
"Everywhere there are snowdrifts, man-made or nature-made. The man-made ones are a canyon down the streets, allowing one-way traffic for police and other emergency vehicles. The nature-made ones are drifts six and eight feet high. Cars are buried."
A National Guard road grader plowed snow on Broadway across from the telephone building. Shakey's Pizza Parlor is on the left.
The awning at Howard's Athletic Goods on Broadway collapsed from the weight of the snow.
Traffic moved at a snail's pace along Interstate 55.
Burton Davis removed snow above Zickfield's Gift Box on Main Street.
Good Hope Street was one of the last areas cleared of snow after the blizzard.
The blizzard left many homes without power and heat in Perry County. Sgt. Roy Jerrolds carries Alyssa Webb, 3-month-old daughter of Kathy Webb, who steps over the fence. The flight took them to shelter at the Perryville armory.
A National Guardsman drove through a Cape Girardeau neighborhood where walking was the mode of travel.
Here is a link to another story on the blizzard from Feb 25, 2004.
Click to read the entire story by John L. Blue of the Great Blizzard of Feb. 25, 1979.