Upcoming storm brings back memories of winters past for Tri-State residents

From The Vault: Elsa, Mr. Freeze vs. Tri-State
Posted at 11:01 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 23:12:02-05

Big storms like the one coming Monday don’t hit the Tri-State very often – but when they do, the memories last longer than the accumulation.

We spoke to Cincinnatians who remember the city blanketed by the kind of snow we haven’t seen in years. Most agree: we’ve had a nice long break, but weather forecasters said that vacation ends Monday.

“It gets like ice,” Cincinnati resident James McGavick said. “You can’t even get that stuff out, it’s piled up so high.”

He said he remembers the marvel and the misery of a snowfall so heavy it stops a city in its tracks.

“The last big snowstorm my grandma had 14 inches of snow and the airport was closed. We had to use the snowblower, and the highway was just deadlocked in Indiana,” he said. “It was a massive snowstorm and we couldn’t get out.”

Samuel Jackson III’s memory stretches back even further – to another major system.

“The biggest one I remember is when I was a kid: 1978, and it was stacks and stacks of snow,” he said. “I thought that was how all winters were.”

For years, snow that heavy was only a memory, but more than a foot expected in parts of the Tri-State next week.

“That brings me back to the old days,” Jackson said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Logan Clark said his team is keeping a close eye on the models, staying in touch with Ohio's Department of Transportation and emergency management agencies, and agrees this could be one with the books.

“It’s definitely something that could be setting up to be fairly impactful – but it’s still something that we’ll continue to monitor.”

McGavick said he knows it’s hard to plan much in more than a foot of snow, so he’ll treat next week like he did in decades past.

“I’m going to take a snow day,” he said.

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