Remembering the Blizzard of ’93

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(WFXR) — On March 12, 1993, an area of low pressure intensified over the Gulf of Mexico and migrated up the Eastern United States before exiting into the Gulf of Maine on March 14.

In the meantime, feet of snow were deposited on the Appalachian Range, winds gusts over hurricane strength were recorded, billions of dollars in damage occurred, and more than 200 lives were lost.

Referred to by many as the Storm of the Century, the Blizzard of ’93 dropped significant amounts of snow from Alabama to Maine, with Western Virginia receiving up to 20+ inches of snow in some spots.

Snowshoe Ski Resort received more than 40 inches of snow from the blizzard while other locations along the Appalachian Trail saw even more snow.

In eastern Tennessee, Mt. LeConte saw near 60″ of snow and Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina received 50″.

Although the Roanoke area reported 16″ of snow officially, there were some unofficial reports of 1 – 2 feet of snow in the region.

Winds generated some large snow drifts — paralyzing the region for days.

Damage reports were plentiful in the area. Some of the more notable reports included:

  • Vinton, Va.: The roof collapsed on the Lancelot Sports Arena.
  • Radford, Va.: The Dedmon Center’s roof gave in.
  • Christiansburg, Va.: The roof of a local Lowes collapsed.

Officially categorized as a massive Nor’easter, this can also be classified as a Superstorm. In our region, ten people lost their lives as a result of the event.

Snowstorms in March are not that rare, but one this massive was difficult to forget. It was also cold for March, which allowed the snow to blow and drift much easier.

The cold air lingered for several days, which allowed the snow piles to linger around for weeks, well into April.

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