1993 blizzard in haywood county nc

Tipper – March 1993 Blizzard Haywood County NC

Have you heard it’s supposed to snow tonight over much of Appalachia? Things are budded and bloomed all over western NC and now the meteorologists are predicting snow and freezing temps for the coming week.

Folks who live in the southern mountains of Appalachia know well and good this is how spring can be: tempting warmth that makes you think old man winter has left till next year and chilling temperatures that make you acknowledge you should have known old man winter wasn’t ready to move out yet.

I first heard about the expected snow earlier this week when Ed Ammons left a comment saying snow was forecasted for his area and that he was going to try his best to turn it towards me. Ed has obviously picked up on my love for snow as I’m sure most of you have as well.

People who are old enough to remember are still talking about the great blizzard that hit in March of 1993. I was living in Haywood County NC in those days. The electricity didn’t go off where I was at, but back here in Brasstown Granny and Pap were without power for well over a week.

The heavy snow and driving winds nigh on to destroyed the woods and all those downed trees took a whole lot of power lines and poles with them.

I don’t think we’ll be seeing another blizzard tonight, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for a big snow.

If your interested in finding out more about weather signs and folklore from Appalachia check out the links below!


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  • Reply
    March 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    Oh, do I remember the snow of 93 ? I sure do, snow drifts were knee deep and deeper, winds were 50+ mph, for much of the day, I stayed on a pole for over 2hrs in Courtland not far from the General Joe Wheeler Home, and I literally couldn’t feel my legs from the knees down, thought I would fall out of the pole when it was time to come down the wind would blow you around like a rag . We’ve had some good ones since but not with the winds that one brought with it. We stuck a bucket truck on the snow in the middle of a road in Mt Hope, it kept piling up as we drove on, until it lifted the front end up and we couldn’t back up, a farmer brought his 100hp John Deere tractor to pull us back, couldn’t budge us, all he did was spin, finally took 2 line trucks with wenches tied bumper to bumper to pull us our. Hope you see the snow. for me not so much.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Off topic……but I wonder why when you dig a hole sometimes you don’t have enough dirt to refill it (even with a post in it) and sometimes you have too much dirt. Weird!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 11, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    I well remember the Blizzard of ’93. During that storm my son was born although I didn’t know him at the time. Blizzards blow in good things sometimes!
    I was at work when the storm was at its worst. There was a blasting wind and driving snow all night. Many of the night people left before it got really bad and the morning people couldn’t make it in. Most of the people who rode it out with me had 4 wheel drive vehicles. I was driving my old red Ford pickup. 1980, Long bed, 300-6 cylinder, 3 on the column, no power steering or brakes, no chains, only street tires. My boss had something similar. We decided that if we were going to get home, we had to have some weight in the back. All we could find were some bales of cardboard. They were about 4 feet square and 8 feet long. I don’t know how much they weighed but they made the truck squat pretty good. I let some air out of the back tires and off I went. The usual 20 minute drive home took 1½ hours.
    The truck did fine but there were wrecked and abandoned cars left in the roadway, power lines and poles down everywhere and trees across the road. There was only one lane of traffic on most of the roads and people coming the other direction were not giving an inch. Every time I met one I had to get over in the fresh snow. The falling snow and whistling wind were filling in the ruts anyway.
    When I got close to home the one lane road I traveled on was completely blocked by downed trees. Big ones! Luckily I had taken my family to my mother in law’s apartment over in Valdese the day before so I wasn’t worried about them. I parked the truck and hiked the ½ mile to the house. The power was off! We had electric heat at the time and it was too cold in there to stay so I got some clothes and hightailed it to Valdese too. We spent the next two weeks with Bertha. I spent the next two weeks looking at a huge bale of soggy cardboard in my rear-view mirror.
    Those were some rough times but I was tough enough to match it. I never missed a day of work because of weather. Blizzards, tornadoes and hurricane Hugo. I got out in it all! I am an Appalachian mountain boy and I ain’t gonna let a little weather keep me from what I have to do.
    But that was almost a quarter century ago and I’m not so tough or dedicated anymore. But bring it on! I might summon up enough for just one more storm.
    I lied! I missed 3 weeks of work when it snowed one night in 1989 and I slid into an overhead bridge support and tore my nose off. How in the world could somebody forget something like that?

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Tipper! The blizzard of ’93 was a test in endurance and how to get along with your neighbors for me. I lived on the top of Lookout Mtn in north Asheville at the time, and we had 8′ drifts all around. No power, no water in the taps but a little creek nearby helped. Had a gas grill, but no gas, so I shoveled my way to the “little ladies'” house, and borrowed big chunks of coal to keep the grill going. The downstairs neighbor was a Portuguese woman, and she put a huge chef’s pot on the grill, and the 9 apartments of folks kept that pot full of meat and veggies for 7 days. I learned some colorful Portuguese in those days, lol, and somehow we all survived without too many disagreements. I kept one room closed off with blankets, and my heat was my 4 antique oil lamps. My sense of humor kept us all fairly sane for the almost 10 days we were stuck there. I could survive such a blizzard again, but hoping we won’t have to anytime soon. It started snowing around 11 am, but tapered off today.
    Love from the riverbank in Marshall to all y’all.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 11:40 am

    I hope we get enough for Snowcream. After a couple of snows back in ’93, I was without power for several days. I just opened my stove doors and cooked on a hot bed of coals. Had to sleep near the stove but that made it like the old ways, before my time. I was glad to get out after many days, and it made me appreciate it when the power was restored. …Ken

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 11, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Coming from PA and getting lots of snow every year it could really be a pain.
    Having a business meant getting up early and plowing the parking lot and most of my help could not get to work so I ended up working double shifts.
    Needless to say, beautiful as it was I hated snow.
    Now that I am here in the mountains I love the snow. I just sit by the window and watch it make everything a fairy land.
    In PA we had to shovel and dig but here we just sweep.
    Ain’t snow great.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    March 11, 2017 at 10:48 am

    I’m with you on liking snow. My SC relatives think I am crazy.
    I have been afraid that the warm weather would cause all of our fruit trees to bloom, but so far they’ve held off. Here where I live in Ohio everyone talks about the blizzard of 78. There were 13′ drifts across the highway. The most we have had at one time is 20″. I found it was natures way of cleaning the woods of briars, weeds and rose as all such flimsy things were flattened. I look forward to more heavy snowfalls. We are only going to get a couple inches. Of course the weatherman is sometimes wrong.
    I love the tip of planting grass seed on top of a snowfall.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    March 11, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I remember March of 93 very well and I don’t want to have that much snow again. We were without power for a week. No power, no water other than what we had gathered beforehand and a tree on the house. A few inches I’m good with but not too much. My wife and I are in Brevard NC for the weekend and they are saying 1-3 inches here. I hope that’s all we get so we can still get around.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    March 11, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Brrrr. We are supposed to get rain here. A bit of weather lore for you. Here we have a lot of commercial fisherman who either go out in the ocean in small fishing boats or just into the river. They never say there is a storm coming or bad weather coming for fear of actually getting a really bad one. If they say anything at all it’s mornin’ you know we’ve got weather coming.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    March 11, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I remember the blizzard of ’93. My wife was gone to her grandpa’s funeral leaving the kids and I at home. She couldn’t get back and we were without power for about 10 days. I chopped up an oak snag for heat and cooked on the wood stove. I don’t recall where we got water since we have a well. The kids still remember it as a big adventure.
    I have been thinking all along we would have some more cold. In the last 30 years or so the last killing frost here has been in Feb. only twice and in April twice. All the rest are around March 20. Us gardeners hate to lose any frost-free days but we don’t like replanting much either. I have lettuce, spinach, onion, radishes and potatoes planted and holding off till April.
    There is a saving grace to snow. It has nitrogen in it. It all soaks in as it melts. And I was told once by an old timer that the best way to sow grass in spring was on top of snow. Makes sense to me because not only does it get watered and fertilized but it is easy to see where the seed is.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 9:05 am

    It’s close to 50 degrees colder now than it was earlier this week. We didn’t get the big snow TWC predicted was headed this way. As a matter of fact, we didn’t get a flurry. I hope the system that missed KY will travel right over the Pressley house.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Hi Tipper, in ’93 I was stationed in “UCLA”…Upper Corner of Lower Alabama…aka Ft. Rucker teaching graduate flight students…not much snow down in that neck of the woods. Fast forward to today, here in Chester County of Pa. we received a few inches yesterday which may be the “calm-before-the-storm” so to speak… The elms along with a few maples are budding and the daffodils are starting to bloom! And the deer, well they seem to think my tulip beds are their veggie buffet! Looks like these two low pressures are steaming up for what may become a double-barrel storm aimed right at the NE United States. The wx folks have shifted from Monday now to Tuesday – Wednesday…they’re some “shifty’ folks those wx people are…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I remember that ’93 snow fall. I lived in Black Mountain, NC and couldn’t get out for a week and couldn’t get to work. Black Mountain kept power while most of neighboring Asheville lost power. I knew people in Asheville who were snowed in for a week without power and heat so I considered myself very fortunate.
    It was a study in solitude for me. I had never been closed in alone with that much silence before for that long. You know that snow creates a different kind of silence. I like to read and I think that was the thing that sustained me.
    It was very interesting for me!

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