On March 12, 1993, one of the most devastating winter storms of the 20th century hit the East Coast of North America wreaking havoc from Florida to Newfoundland.
The Blizzard of ’93, sometimes referred to as the “Storm of the Century” or the “Superstorm of 1993,” lasted for three days and included widespread heavy snow (between 1 and 3 feet!), hurricane-force winds and severe thunderstorms.
AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski calls the storm a ‘snowicane’ because of the unprecedented amounts of snow mixed with hurricane winds. As a result, snow drifts in the Appalachians were as high as single story homes.
Semi-trucks began jackknifing as the interstates iced up, causing miles-long delays and fatal accidents.
Hundreds of cars — including some belonging to Spring Breakers returning from Florida — were reported stranded on I-75 northbound, which Tennessee authorities had closed at the Georgia border.
The storm closed nearly all interstate highways from Atlanta northeastward as well as every major airport on the East coast at one time or another—unprecedented at the time. The storm caused the most weather-related flight cancellations in U.S. history.
From Florida to Maine, nearly 10 million people and businesses lost power and schools were closed for several days during the aftermath and clean-up.
While the storm is most remembered for the unprecedented snowfall, it also sparked an estimated 15 tornados in Florida and a massive 12 foot storm surge that killed seven people and swept houses out to sea.
It is estimated that the historic blizzard caused $6 to $11 billion in damages and killed more than 300 people.
For more stories from the 90s, check out my podcast “History of the 90s” available on ApplePodcasts, Spotify, Google Play and anywhere else you stream audio. You can also listen at http://www.curiouscast.ca