Retired CPD officer talks about working in the Blizzard of 1993
Retired Chattanooga Police Officer Jim Massengale talked to Channel 3 about what it was like working in the Blizzard of 1993.
Monday will mark 25 years since the 1993 winter storm that shut down roads, knocked out power and left much if the Tennessee Valley buried in snow.
Retired Chattanooga Police Officer Jim Massengale received the law enforcement officer of the year award for his efforts during the blizzard.
Jim Massengale told Channel 3 that the first thing that had to be done was to provide a way for all first responders to get to work. He says crews worked as hard as they could to get the job done.
Jim Massengale was off duty Friday, March 12, 1993, when he was called in because of the winter storm.
He says he packed a sleeping bag and a change of clothes. He stayed at work from Friday until Tuesday.
“While my family was at home without heat, without electricity, we had a gas fireplace, so that's how they cooked and heated themselves,” Massengale explained.
Massengale says the National Guard had to help bring in first responders who were stuck in the snow.
He says the crew that night consisted of about 60 people. That's double the officers on a typical night.
“At the very first it was busy constant, and after the first few hours, it calms down a little bit, and you get your pace,” Massengale added. “Any wreaks with injury, we tried to respond to them. You cancel all minor calls. You just don't respond to them.”
That year Massengale was awarded the law enforcement award by the Optimist Club of Chattanooga for his efforts.
“It's nice getting recognition," Massengale said. "There were so many people out there doing other things they were just as deserving."
Massengale worked with the police department for almost 29 years. He retired five years ago.