25 years ago, Atlanta was socked in by the Blizzard of ‘93

Wind, bitter cold, serious snowfall -- we endured it all on March 13, 1993


Everything was fine, just fine, at my house on Saturday, March 13, 1993, as winter winds whipped the trees outside, blanketing my neighborhood with a thick coating of snow. Blizzard of ‘93? Whatever. I was warm and toasty, so ... big deal.

Then the power went out. And I got a first-hand lesson in just how bitter “bitter cold” can be.

Nobody who lived in Atlanta 25 years ago could possibly have forgotten The Blizzard of ‘93. We’ve had snowstorms before -- and since (Snowmageddon, anyone?) -- but The Blizzard smacked this town with all the subtlety of a cast-iron skillet to the noggin. 

My former AJC colleague, Mike Morris, sums it up thusly:

“The snow began falling early that morning, and by the time it had tapered off, nearly 3 feet had fallen across parts of extreme north Georgia, with Union County reporting 35 inches.

Although only 4 inches of snow was officially recorded at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, a foot or more of the white stuff fell across the northern suburbs, and winds whipping to 50 mph blew the snow into nearly waist-deep drifts.

The storm paralyzed metro Atlanta and north Georgia for days, the heavy snowfall closing interstates from Atlanta northward. Fifteen people were killed in Georgia.” 

LEARN MORE: THE BLIZZARD OF ‘93

The thing was, we knew it was coming. WSB Chief Meteorologist Glenn Burns, his TV team and 750 AM WSB Radio meteorologist Kirk Mellish had been duly warning the metro Atlanta and north Georgia areas that we were in for a serious snowstorm -- even though just that Wednesday, March 10, Atlanta hit a high of 75 degrees. 

I had plenty of time to think about that nice, warm Wednesday while fretting over how to make my slim stock of firewood last until Georgia Power restored the juice to my home and the five or six others on my street that were dark. Meanwhile, I could see that folks three doors down on the left had full power. It was a long night.

But I got a taste -- literally -- of pre-electricity days here in the South. I roasted potatoes in the fireplace ashes (they were delicious), piled on the quilts to keep warm and carefully got the old kerosene lamp going. It wasn’t what I was used to, but there was a coziness to it that I’ve never quite felt since. 

Late Sunday afternoon, once the lights and heat were restored, I let the fire die out and stowed the quilts back with the mothballs in the closet. Finally, I was able to enjoy what remained after the previous day’s bluster and bitterness: the sun shining on the snow blanketing my neighborhood, the quiet that only a southern snowfall brings, the knowledge that this had been something special, something bittersweet -- a memory worth filing away for the next time I took a warm, windy March day for granted.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC keeps you updated on the latest happenings in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Atlanta news. Subscribe to myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

BREAKING: Cobb officer arrested, accused of assaulting woman 
BREAKING: Cobb officer arrested, accused of assaulting woman 

A Cobb County police officer was arrested Monday on allegations he assaulted a woman, officials confirmed.  Officer R.L. New faces an aggravated assault charge in the incident, which occurred while he was off duty, Cobb police Officer Sarah O’Hara said in a statement. “The department initiated an investigation in response to a complaint...
Police investigating alleged molestation of 5-year-old boy at Roswell camp
Police investigating alleged molestation of 5-year-old boy at Roswell camp

Roswell police are investigating after a 5-year-old boy was allegedly assaulted by two children at a day camp hosted by the Roswell Recreation and Parks Department, Channel 2 Action News reported. The investigation began when a the boy complained to his mother about discomfort after he arrived home from the camp one day last week. The mother took her...
TUESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Temps expected to reach 92 — and it will feel even hotter
TUESDAY’S WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Temps expected to reach 92 — and it will feel even hotter

Tuesday: High: 92 Tuesday night: Low: 72 Wednesday: High: 93 As summer nears, temperatures in the low 90s could feel close to 100 degrees as the day drags on Tuesday, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Commuters can expect a sunny and dry drive Tuesday morning, but they could be sweating by noon, when temperatures reach the mid-80s. Atlanta...
Court disbars lawyer who represented Atlanta art collector
Court disbars lawyer who represented Atlanta art collector

A protracted legal battle that ensnared a veteran lawyer, a trailblazing Atlanta art collector and prized works by a legendary Southern folk artist drew to a close Monday with the state Supreme Court disbarring the attorney from ever practicing law again. The court, by a 5-4 ruling, disbarred Gary Coulter for “exceptionally serious” violations...
Jimmy Carter’s shoes, wine and paintings will go to highest bidder
Jimmy Carter’s shoes, wine and paintings will go to highest bidder

An upcoming auction to benefit the Carter Center includes presidential memorabilia such as a lock of President John F. Kennedy’s hair and original paintings by President Jimmy Carter. The items aren’t all presidency-related, though. The July 30 auction also includes experiences such as a one-week stay at a home in Saint-Remy-de-Provence...
More Stories