Remembering the Blizzard of '93
Where were you during the blizzard of '93? It's a question being asked across the area Friday, as we look back more than two decades.
Friday, March 13th 2015, 6:33 PM EDT
Friday, March 13th 2015, 6:51 PM EDT
"He said it's gonna to be bad! He stayed up all night watching it snow," says Tyra Sherrill about her husband.
They remember the wee hours of Saturday morning, March 13th, 1993 as if it were yesterday. They couldn't believe a blizzard so big could reach the Tennessee Valley.
"We didn't expect that! I mean it's 70 degrees one day and there's 22" of snow the next day," recalls Sherrill on this anniversary of the storm. They heard thunder,too!
Their Ringgold subdivision was new at the time. They were one of only three families on the street--the only street in and out.
Whiteout conditions prevailed as fierce winds knocked out power for days. Luckily they had a camping stove and a fireplace. A neighbor across the corner shared some of his fire wood.
"He got his son's wagon--his little toy wagon, one of those red ones--and he got wood in it and brought it to us," says Sherrill. "Then he and my husband loaded more wood and went down the street."
Bob Carty was stuck in Knoxville when the storm began, unable to get home to his family in Rossville for six days.
"It was getting rough," says Carty. "They ended up having to melt snow over an open fire to be able to flush the toilets."
Luckily, they had gone shopping just before the historic event.
"Thank god we had plenty of canned goods in the house," adds Carty.
Twenty-two years later to the day we had about a tenth of an inch of rain in the Chattanooga area. If temperatures had been as cold as the day of the blizzard, there would have been maybe be an inch and a half of snow on the ground, a fraction of what the massive storm produced.
"We had 22" in the front yard, and from the drifts we had 38" on the side of the garage," says Sherrill.
It was so cold, she was able to keep perishables outside so they wouldn't spoil.
"Even the ice cream stayed frozen," adds Sherrill.
Even though she survived the storm and got the t-shirt, literally--t-shirts were printed saying "I survived the Blizzard of '93" and a friend bought one for her--it's something she hopes never happens again.
"Never want to see again. No!" exclaims Sherrill.
She says, however, ever since "the big one", they're always better prepared when snow is in the forecast.