Mama had to be evacuated

 ... history repeats itself.

by Ella Letterie

Monday, February 6, 1978, started as a mild day, but in the afternoon the winds picked up and it became extremely cold. On Tuesday the snow started to fall and didn't stop all day.

My mother and sister Eleanor lived in Hull, Ma. on the beach. Hull is 30 miles south of Boston. When the snow started to accumulate, I called Eleanor and told her to pack an overnight bag for Mama and herself and get back to East Boston where they still owned another house.   

Eleanor told me that Mama was fine and that she had the oven on to generate more heat in the kitchen and that she wasn't going to go back to East Boston. My mother had a cold but didn't tell Eleanor.  I must have called every hour, but they still didn't come back.  

I'm not going to give you the weather report for that day, but will tell you that it was called 'The blizzard of '78'. The snow was constant, the winds were of blizzard force, and the ocean had three abnormally high tides. The ocean began to flood the streets of Hull, and people had to be evacuated. The National Guard came to my mother's house and took Eleanor and Mama to a school, where other residents of Hull had been taken. The rest of the family who lived north of Boston didn't know where they were.

Not knowing where they were became scary.

My mother had a cold when this storm started and she became worse, having to sit in a gym at the school. Father Edward MaCabe, a friend of ours who was stationed at St. Mary Church in Hull went to the school and took Mama and Eleanor to our friend, Aida who lived in Hingham.

People were not allowed to go into Hull, which is a peninsula, unless they were residents, or on  medical service.

My sister Edna has a friend who is a nurse, and she provided Edna with a nurse's outfit and they drove to Hingham to get Mama and Eleanor. They drove back and left Mama and Eleanor at their house in East Boston. My mother recovered from her cold, and was snug as a bug in her heated home.

As I write this story, we are experiencing the Blizzard of 2003.

March 7, 2003

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