This month's Great Storms of Long Island section recalls a two-day neutercane — a coastal blizzard with an eye and winds near hurricane force — that walloped Long Island in February 1978. Snowfall reaching 26 inches collapsed beach homes, halted commerce and took the lives of a few who ventured outside. Armies of railroad workers labored to clear tracks, and the state sent powerful rotary snowblowers from upstate to unclog roads. It was one of Long Island's worst snowstorms of the century.

High noon, Feb. 6, 1978

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson

The sun is nowhere in sight as a Nassau police officer with a flare tries to warn Meadowbrook Parkway drivers to steer clear of car wrecks caused by the blizzard that walloped Long Island on Feb. 6, 1978.

Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles

Two pedestrians brave wind and snow on Hempstead Turnpike in Hempstead on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles

It's midafternoon on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont, where a  woman tries to walk through the storm on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson

Motorists abandon stalled cars on the Meadowbrook Parkway on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

A commuter tries hitchhiking to get home from the Mineola LIRR station during the snowstorm on Feb. 6.

Havoc on the roads

Credit: Newsday

Drivers digging out their cars on Route 110 in Melville after they were buried in snow by the blizzard. 

Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill

A single lane of eastbound traffic crawls along the Long Island Expressway near Exit 51 in Commack on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

Nassau County Police Sgt. Timothy Duggen helps push out a car stuck on a snowbank on the Long Island Expressway, west of Exit 39, on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Kraus

Suffolk County Police Officer Jim McCarthy, on highway patrol along the Long Island Expressway near Hauppauge, gives a stalled motorist a battery boost with jumper cables during the storm on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/John H. Cornell, Jr.

A payloader moves a car blocking its way on Middle Country Road in Lake Grove on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Walter del Toro

Long Beach residents on one of the many unplowed side streets try to dig out on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Bill Senft

Next stop? It's nowhere for this bus at the Metropolitan Suburban Transit Authority's Oak Street depot in Garden Cty on Feb. 8,

Credit: Newsday/Dan Neville

A police car is buried by snow in Bayside, Queens, on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Bill Senft

Greg Murphy of Valley Stream trying to dig out his Volkswagen Beetle on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/John H. Cornell, Jr.

A motorist tries to dig his car out of a snowdrift on Old Country Road in Westbury on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

Police put a motorist into an ambulance after he was injured in an accident on the Meadowbrook Parkway.

Life goes on

Credit: Newsday/Walter del Toro

Jim Collura of Commack passes bottles of milk to customers at the Dairy Barn in New Cassel during the storm on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

Barry Bookhard, 13, dives into a snowdrift on Archer Street in Freeport on Feb. 6.

Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

Gail Eisenberg, 12, of Rockaway Beach, dives off the boardwalk into the snow on the beach off the Shorefront Parkway on Feb. 8.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

Green Bay? No, it's Baldwin Road in Baldwin, where a football game broke out on the snow-covered street.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson

A jogger on South Oyster Bay Road in Syosset runs past the snow-blocked entrance to the Northern State Parkway on Feb. 8.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

One benefit of the blizzard: Conditions are great at the Town of Huntington ski area on Dix Hills Road in South Huntington on Feb. 8.

A bird's-eye view

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

An aerial photo taken Feb. 8 shows wrecked homes and beach erosion along the Fire Island shore.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

Aerial view of a Massapequa street as people dig out their cars on Feb. 8.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson; Pilot: John Dempsey

Ocean waves lap the shore below homes on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach, where the sand was washed away by the storm on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson; Pilot: John Dempsey

An aerial view of the homes on Dune Road in Westhampton Beach after sand was washed out from under them by the storm on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson; Pilot: John Dempsey

A couple views a collapsed home in this aerial photo taken at Ocean Beach in Fire Island during the storm on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

Aerial view looking north shows cars on Route 106-107 opposite the Mid-Island Shopping Center in Hicksville on Feb. 8.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson

An aerial view of Kennedy Airport in Queens shows snow-covered runways and grounded planes on Feb. 7.

Credit: Newsday/Dick Yarwood

Rush-hour traffic jams Jericho Turnpike in Elwood in this aerial photo taken Feb. 8.

After the storm

Credit: Newsday/Cliff DeBear

Working in shifts, Brentwood neighbors shovel out the streets around Plum Street and Route 111.

Credit: Newsday/Walter del Toro

A snowblower from Binghamton, which was sent down to Long Island by the state Department of Transportation to aid in the cleanup, plows the Northern State Parkway exit at South Oyster Bay Road in Plainview on Feb. 9.

Credit: Newsday/Cliff De Bear

The threat of heavy snow causing the roof to collapse keeps the doors closed at the Macy's department store and the other shops at the evacuated Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington. 

Credit: Newsday/Jim Peppler

In Freeport, Long Island Rail Road signal inspectors Joe Spinelli of Oyster Bay and Rudolph Lento of Holbrook check the switch rail with a meter as the LIRR tries to get the trains running again on Feb. 8.

Credit: Newsday/Stan Wolfson

It's 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 9, three days after the blizzard hit, and traffic heading north is barely moving on South Oyster Bay Road in Syosset.