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Blizzard of ’78 and the Politics of Storms

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Anytime a major storm hits Connecticut, be assured the governor will be on television articulating what the state is doing to keep the citizens safe. If a politician handles the crisis well, he or she can be a rock star. Blow it, and a political career could be over.

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The late Governor Ella Grasso practically became a legend for her management of the state during the Blizzard of 1978, also known as Blizzard Larry, a paralyzing storm that shut down southern New England. Grasso’s predecessor saw his fortunes sink for the way he handled Mother Nature’s wrath. Governor Tom Meskill stayed in Vermont for a ski trip during a crippling ice storm, and as a result, the public was angry and he decided against seeking re-election in 1974.

This past Sunday on Face the State, we talked about what a governor must do during a storm. Our guest is someone who spent plenty of time in the emergency operations center, Tom Dudchik, former chief of staff to Governor Lowell Weicker.

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Dudchik, who runs http://www.ctcapitolreport.com, shared some interesting insight on a governor’s mindset in a storm, and he also offered his take on Governor Malloy and his performance during a weather crisis, but he took issue with the governor wearing gloves. Watch what he means at the link later in this story.

Our flashback takes us back 37 years ago, and a report from our archives from Bruce DePrest on the Blizzard of ’78. You’ll see some old film shot during the storm, and hear from Governor Grasso as she calmed a state jittery about an epic snowfall.

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Watch Dudchik and the Blizzard of ’78 right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=11089737

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3 replies »

  1. DENNIS YES MALLOY DID GOOD JOB AND HE SHOUL’D FO THAT MORE OFFEN BUT WHY HIS THAT THE STATE EMPLYER SOME THE GOT WORK EVEN IF WE HAVE BIG SNOW STORM THAT NOT FARE TO ASSENTIAL E NON ASSENTIAL AMPLOEE THAT GOT WORK WEN THEROAD ARE DANGERS HE SHOUL’D SHOT DOWN FOR ALL STATE EMPLOYER OK THANK YOU VERY MUCH I HOPE HE KEEPS PEOPLE SAFE HAPPY SUNDAY DENISS HOUSE YOU THE BEST AND KARA I JUST LOVE YOU FAMILY & U KIDS ARE SO BEAUTIFUL THANK U

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  2. I was pregnant with my twin boys in 1978 when Ella Grasso shut down 84. I couldn’t get back home from work in Southbury until the next day. At that time I lived in Southington. I remember driving home and seeing huge mounds of snow on each side of route 84. I think Gov, Malloy was super on shutting down the roads!!!!!!!!

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