Storm of the Century

.

newspaper clip 1993

.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news the last few days, you’ve seen the stories about the rare winter storm in the south.
.
Georgia has been brought to a standstill because of ice and snow.
.
Some people have been on the highways for 24 hours now.  Kids slept in school gymnasiums because parents just couldn’t get to school to pick them up.  Imagine that….a rare snow day off school and you are stuck IN school.  Oh the horror!
.
Anyway, this recent storm has me thinking back to my own Georgia snowstorm experience.
.
It was March 1993 and 3 of my college friends and I piled into my rusty red Mazda 323 hatchback and headed to Florida for Spring Break.  Now it’s worth mentioning that my mom did not want me to drive my car there, she thought for sure it would break down.  It’s for this reason I may have lead her to believe we were taking a different car.  The memories are fuzzy:)
.
It’s also worth mentioning that the drive is something like 24 hours, cramped up in a tiny little Mazda 323.
.
The visit to Florida was uneventful, although we were staying in a timeshare that was geared to “older adults”.   It wasn’t your typical spring break experience.  No sir…no MTV where we were.
.
Here we all are…
.

Spring Breakers - Dan, Jami, Me and Kori


 


.
So, the trip was fun and warm and we had a great time.  We all piled into the car again for the long drive back to Madison.
.

Here’s where it gets interesting.
.
We came through Atlanta in the dark and the sleet started.  We made it about 30 minutes out of Atlanta to Acworth and decided to pull off the highway.   We found a Waffle House and we decided to sleep a few hours in the car, cause that’s what you did when you were poor and 21.  When we woke up the snow was covering the windows and we were cold!
.
I tried the windshield wipers and they wouldn’t work.  We tried to drive to find somewhere that might help us repair them…I drove with my head out the window. We were in trouble!
.

wipers...we don't need no stinkin wipers

 

.
We somehow found a truck stop and tried to get some help.  I don’t remember much about it,  but in consulting with my fellow spring breakers, we think we had to buy some parts and a jumper cable too?  The memories are fuzzy.
.
We learned that the highway was closed and we couldn’t get on it again if we tried.   So we spent 2 nights on the floor of a truck stop in Acworth, GA.
.
They had NFL carpet and a big TV and lots and lots of truckers.  We watched tv and couldn’t believe that the town was shut down because of 5″ of snow.  We learned that Georgia had 3 plows for the entire state!
.
It was at this point I thought I should call home.  This Storm of the Century was getting lots of play on tv…she probably would be wondering about me because I was a few days overdue calling her.  So I called with my calling card (remember those?) home.  I told my mom we were all ok and we were safe in a truck stop.  Dan was watching out for us.  Then I very casually said “oh and my windshield wipers broke”.  “YOUR windshield wipers Aimee?”  my mom said.  Oops.
.
She was not happy.  Not happy at all.  Luckily, I had the fact that I was still alive going for me and she wasn’t too hard on me.
.

.

NFL Carpet

Happy Sleeper

 

.

 

Badgers and Beer

.
When we finally heard they were letting people back on the highway, we were jumping at the chance to leave.  They all thought we were crazy.
.
Anyway, we got on the highway and this is what it looked like.
.

 

Highway 75

.
I took us 9 hours to drive 40 miles.  CRAZY.  There we are in the very little red Mazda, the 2nd red car on the left.  I think Dan is sticking his head out the window.  People were playing frisbee in the road to pass the time.  The roads were drivable, but there were stalled semi trucks and other cars blocking the roads.  We were going nowhere fast.
.
At one point we were so hungry and thirsty that Korinne and I decided to just walk to the next exit, leaving Jami and Dan in the car.  We walked a long way and then got the gas station and all they had were a few pops and chips left.  We bought some and headed back to the car.  It was dark at this point and we couldn’t immediately find the car.  We freaked out thinking we had somehow lost them.  Then we heard Jami’s voice calling us.  Ahhhhhh we were so happy!
.
We were a few days late getting back to school, but so were a lot of other people. That storm of the century dropped snow all over the east coast and the south.
.
So, I do have some idea of what people are going through who are stuck on a highway.  Let’s hope they are in a little better car.

And while it might seem horrific now, I’m guessing that in 20 years their memories will be fuzzy too.

One Response to “Storm of the Century”

  1. Selena says:

    I’m originally from Tennessee, lived in Minnesota for a few years, and back down here for this bit of joy. I clearly remember the storm you discuss here, I’d had my driver’s license since August 1992, and was disappointed that I was snowed in for a week during this storm. People around here still talk about that storm.

Leave a Reply