Photos: Remembering the blizzard of Jan. 26, 1978

Blizzard of 1978
A 1978 file photo of someone trying to uncover their car following the blizzard.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Exactly 39 years ago Thursday, West Michigan was buried under the biggest snowstorm ever to hit Grand Rapids and much of the region.

The blizzard if 1978 brought more than 19 inches of snow to Grand Rapids. It also created a wall of white in Muskegon, which picked up 52 inches of snow in four days. Wind gusts hitting 42 mph helped blow the snow off roofs, but many schools didn’t reopen for days and more than 125,000 vehicles were abandoned in the storm.

>>Bill’s Blog: Blizzard of Jan. 26, 1978

In the midst of the chaos was Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen, who spent three days at the station, informing viewers around the clock while living off stale danishes and coffee from the vending machine.

In his blog, Bill said he wasn’t even supposed to be there that week, but it was the storm that made his career.