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School attendance records for 1978 have been destroyed, so it is unknown exactly how many days that the Minford District was not in session.  Several teachers who were employed at the high school at that time were interviewed, but none could remember an exact count.  It is estimated that students missed between 29 and 34 days of school from January to March of 1978.

January 8, 1978
The Blizzard Begins
Headline and text taken from the January 9, 1978, issue of the The Portsmouth Times, p. 1

Ice, Snow Grip Area; Near-Zero Cold Seen Tonight

Ice and snow borne by the area's first major storm of the season slowed traffic overnight and early today, closed some rural roads and forced the shutdown of nearly every school system in Portsmouth, Scioto County and neighboring Kentucky.
Headline and text taken from the January 17, 1978 issue of The Portsmouth Times, p. 1.
Heavy Snowfall Stuns Area, Causes Closings
The worst snowstorm of the winter has all but paralyzed Scioto County.  Heavy snowfall Monday and early today made driving extremely hazardous and forced the cancellation of village council meetings, schools, and many public offices.

Portsmouth City Service Director Jim Devine explained the snow situation succinctly, "We can't keep up with it!"

Road clearing attempts in the county are continuing, but little headway is expected until after the snow stops falling.

Headline and text taken from the January 20, 1978, issue of The Portsmouth Times, p. 1.
Area is Nearly Paralyzed With Additional Snowfall

With six to eight additional inches of snow falling in Scioto County Thursday night and early today, massive efforts continue to remove the accumulation that now totals from two to three feet.

In Portsmouth, members of the 216th Engineer Battalion, Ohio National Guard, headquartered in Portsmouth and Ironton, are working around the clock, operating two front end loaders and two trucks to help the city with snow removal efforts.

By executive order, Governor Rhodes declared disaster areas in Scioto, Ross, Jackson, Adams, Clarmont, Licking, Meigs, Gallia, Athens, Hamilton, Lawrence, Coshocton and Belmont Counties in southern Ohio.

Barry Feldman, city manager, said the city has set snow clearing priorities, the first being making passable the state highways in the city and overpasses and bridges.

Major Tom Shulte of the 216th Engineer Battalion said the order of priority for Guard help included Porter Township, the city of Portsmouth, and Washington, Nile, Bloom and Valley Townships.

Headline and text taken from the January 26, 1978, issue of The Portsmouth Times, p. 1.

Below freezing temperatures, gusting winds and more snow hit the Portsmouth area early today causing telephone and power outages and transforming roadways into ribbons of ice.

Temperatures dipped as low as six degrees.  The wind chill factor produced cold equivalent to 30 degrees below zero.

The storm, which began as steady, sometimes heavy rain Wednesday night, has closed many government offices and businesses in Portsmouth and nearly all of the schools in the city and county.

Governor Rhodes declared a state of emergency today as the state was battered by "the worst blizzard in the history of Ohio."

Earlier, Rhodes closed state offices for the second time in less than a week.  Offices were closed Friday after a winter storm dumped 6 to 8 inches of snow over the Buckeye State.

Headline and text taken from the January 27, 1978, issue of The Portsmouth Times, p. 1.
Some Area Roads Closed by Snow, Ice, Flooding

Drifting snow closed many rural roads this morning and slowed traffic throughout the city in the wake of Thursday's blizzard that virtually paralyzed Central and Northern Ohio and left thousands without electricity.

Portsmouth and Scioto County were spared the worst of the storm that Gov. James Rhodes described as the greatest in the state's history.

An emergency shelter was set up Thursday afternoon in Portsmouth's Salvation Army headquarters.

Many state and county roads in the Portsmouth area are either closed by drifting snow or high water.  Roads that were considered risky or impassable this morning due to high water and drifts or stalled vehicles included Lucasville-Minford Road, Old Scioto Trail, Maple Benner Road, Houston Hollow Road, Pond Creek Road, Pollock Road, and Arion Roud.

Scioto County Engineer Timothy Thoroughman said that as of this morning, 60 percent of the county's snow and ice control equipment is inoperative due to mechanical failure.

Major Shulte said the Guards were not helping with road clearning operations until the wind dies down.  "After the wind stops, we'll try to clear some primary roads in the county and city.  Right now, with the wind blowing, the snow would drift back onto the roads even if they were cleared."

Headline and text taken from the February 11, 1978, issue of The Portsmouth Times.

School Makup Days Set

Presidents Day is Feburary 20 this year, and that's all it will be as far as students inthe Scioto County School System are concerned.

It won't be a school holiday.  Edward Hall, county superintendent, said all schools in the system will have classes that day to make up some of the time lost because of bad weather.

Schools have missed up to 19 days as a result of road conditions and other factors, Hall said.  Other makeup days are to be determined later.

On February 14, 1978, an additional 1 - 3 inches of snow fell in the county.

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491 Bond Rd.   |   Minford, Ohio 45653   |   740-820-3002
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