Originally published in Clark magazine, spring 2012
Alumni of a certain vintage still wax nostalgic over the Blizzard of ’78, which left much of the Northeast without power for days, forced the cancellation of classes, and produced snowdrifts that rose to the third floor of Wright Hall. Clark students who were on campus in 2011 perhaps will one day regale their children with the story of the freakish Oct. 29 snowstorm that left the quad looking like a war zone and, even more traumatically, forced the postponement of Halloween. The storm’s early arrival meant that more than a foot of wet, heavy snow was dumped onto trees that hadn’t yet shed their leaves. Thanks to the accumulated weight, countless limbs cracked and snapped off all night, taking down power lines along the East Coast.
Clark was largely spared the outages, though many staff and faculty living in other parts of Worcester and surrounding towns were without electricity for days, and were offered the use of the shower facilities at the Kneller Center. The cleanup job was so extensive, students joined Physical Plant employees to drag brush off the quad. That winter didn’t come close to matching autumn’s snowfall, with the temps so mild a newly built skating rink in the field on Charlotte Street struggled to remain frozen.