Twenty years after the Storm of the Century

Blizzard of '93

BRISTOL, Va. - The 1993 blizzard, also known as the "Storm of the Century," was a winter storm many won't ever forget. View photos of the storm and submit your own here.

"[That's] more snow than I've ever seen before and I don't ever want to see that much again," said Beverly Matda.

"Long hours, no hot showers, devastation; just not like anything you could imagine," said Randy Felty of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

There was snow piled up all over the region, with 14 inches in the Tri-Cities and up to five feet in the mountains.

The large amount of snow closed highways and made it hard for people to get around. "Mobility was restricted for several hours until the streets could be cleared out," said J.C. Bolling, Bristol, Virginia fire chief.

"It came down so fast there was no way they could have possibly gotten it cleared off before it just kept coming and coming, "said Matda.

Felty said they didn't have radios or cell phones then, making it difficult when sending out road crews. "When you sent someone out, you had to know where you sent them and check on them," he said.

The uncleared roads weren't the only issue either; with the wet snow coming down, it brought the power lines with it, leaving 2,000 thousand people without power in Bristol alone. "The snow wasn't going away quickly and all the utility companies were working feverishly to try to restore the power," said Cpt. Maynard Ratcliff, Bristol, Virginia police officer.

"It just caught you off guard. You just didn't realize the devastation of that much snow. No power -- we do that now two or three days and think it's bad. But it was weeks before people had power," said Felty.

All of the emergency agencies we spoke with said they learned a lot from the blizzard and are more prepared now for inclement weather than they ever were.

View photos of the storm and submit your own here.

Most Popular