On March 12, 1993 – 30 years ago this Sunday – forecasters and local media warned the public of impending heavy snowfall. Many scoffed in disbelief at the notion that this area would get even a few inches of snow, much less feet of snow and blizzard conditions. And unbelievable would be a good word to describe the amount of snow that actually fell in Northwest Georgia. Anyone who witnessed the ‘Blizzard of ’93’ will never, ever forget it.
Tim Herrington, the Director of the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency, attests that locals who were around at the time of the blizzard will always remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when it hit.
Herrington, an employee of the Floyd County Prison at the time, says that he expected adverse weather conditions, but did not anticipate the magnitude of what actually happened.
Herrington believes that Northwest Georgia is much better prepared now to handle extreme winter weather such as the blizzard than it was 30 years ago, with the developments in modern technology. Although, he adds, it would be fine with him if the area never sees another blizzard.
Carla Maton, the current Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia, was 12 years old at the time of the Blizzard of 1993. She lived in Dalton and enjoyed playing in the snow with her friends and family. She says that she has learned a lot since then about the Red Cross’ response to that historic weather disaster.
Keith Mickler, who now serves as the University of Georgia Extension Agent for Floyd County, was a graduate student at the University of Tennessee back in 1993. He muses that during the blizzard, he kept perishable foods cold in a trash can filled with snow and enjoyed sledding on trays from the UT lunch room. He acknowledges that people did not have wi-fi back then like we do now….
Back in those days, people depended on local radio to get updates on local weather and road conditions. The internet was still in its infancy, and social media did not exist.
Craig McDaniel, current Rome City Commissioner, asserts that local media played a huge role in keeping the public informed – and safe.
Kenneth Studdard, who was a pastor in Chattooga County at the time of the blizzard and now owns Dogwood Books in downtown Rome, asserts that the radio was his family’s connection to the outside world.
For the late Randy Davis, it was an honor to serve the public on the airwaves of WLAQ. In a 2018 interview marking the 25th anniversary of the Blizzard of ’93, Davis said that he welcomed an opportunity to join his longtime friend Mike Meadows for a ride around town to help those in need after the storm.
So… if you were around when it happened, what do you remember about the Blizzard of ’93? WLAQ 1410 AM and 96.9 FM would like to know! Check out the post about the blizzard and comment with your memories and pictures on the WLAQ-Rome Facebook page.