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  1. #1

    Default The Storm of the Century: Where were you March 1993?

    Where were you during the storm of the century in March of 1993? Any stories of being on trail?
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  2. #2
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    i was at Springer late March that year. most snow was gone

  3. #3

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    I was working midnight shift at a hospital lab in Huntingdon, County PA. I drove to work during the storm and then was stuck at the hospital for over 2 days. The nursing supervisor (highest admin on site) said the snow plow could not keep the road to the ER open. I said, nobody's leaving, plow in the employee lot. That's what they did. A eight foot bank of snow kept everyone onsite. We kept the ER open but luckily it stayed slow because we ha a skeleton crew for that time. The national guard tried to bring in staff in Humvees with a little success.

  4. #4

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    Departure was delayed 24 hours but ended up driving down to the Florida Keys. No hiking only camping.
    "Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
    Sleepin by the river just like he usually done
    Call for his whisky
    He can call for his tea
    Call all he wanta but he can't call me..."
    Robert Hunter & Ron McKernan

    Whiteblaze.net User Agreement.

  5. #5

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    42 inches of snow in NJ. Roads and driveway blocked me in for 3 days. Almost as bad as the back to back February 69 storms in New England.

  6. #6

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    I was living at my ridgetop Tipi in North Carolina which was located 30 miles east from the AT at Watauga Lake.

    It was a glorious time as Boone NC and Watauga County went back to 10,000BC at least for a couple days ---and yet it was still stressful.

    tiiiitit.croppedjpg.jpg


    These pics show the very beginning of the storm which eventually dumped 36 inches with 5-6 foot drifts. I had a woodstove in my lodge with the stovepipe coming out of the door. The only way to get to my tipi was on a 1 mile trail with a gain of about 800--1,000 feet of elevation---so getting in and out was very tough. Here's a pic of the trail up to my tipi---



    I wrote a full report of the experience here---

    http://tipiwalter.blogspot.com/2009/...ard-of-93.html

    I had a little battery radio and these were actual quotes during the storm---

    **"Stay indoors!!"
    **"It's the storm of the century!"
    **"Bring pets inside."
    **"All church services cancelled."
    **"106 mph winds on the coast."
    **"The weather science institute at M.I.T. says we're all doomed"(I made this one up).
    **"Stay tuned to the radio as we cover the Blizzard of '93"
    **"The birds are going crazy, throw out some bread."
    **"Snow depth has reached 18.5 inches."
    **"Jimmy Jones calls from his cell phone, says it's basically a white out."
    **"We are broadcasting on two stations in case you lose us on one."
    **"WSJK station in West Jefferson had to go off the air due to ice crystals on the transmitter."
    **"Sugar Grove caller reports 28 inches in a protected spot."
    **"City officials report a curfew beginning at 7pm in Boone."
    **"The National Guard is being called out."
    **"A group of 30 motorists stuck near Deep Gap will have to break into Parkway elementary school for the night. He wanted police to know this over the radio."

  7. #7
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    I was in grad school and the night before the storm hit, I had a programming project due the next morning I didn't realize was going to take me another 20 hours to complete. Fortunately, our apartment complex was next door to the electrical sub station, so we had power and I had extra time to finish my project.

  8. #8
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    We had just moved to HF in 92. But I had torn my ACL sometime beginning of 93 ,had my operation and decided to hire a ambulance to get me home because we had a major ice and snow storm.
    That was an interesting ride there was a set sharp turns and hills before you got to my house with the Shenandoah river on the other side. Well the ambulance was sliding backwards down the hill on the ice and i could see out the back window the Shenandoah river getting closer. That's what my minds eye pictured ending up in the river strapped to a bed/gurdy.

    We didn't and they got me home safely for a long recovery.

  9. #9
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    I was on the way to see the Grateful Dead in Richfield, Ohio and left Erie, PA around 10 am, leaving my friends behind as they had been up all night partying.....

    I had driven up the night before to Erie to meet my friends and got no sleep due to their own snowstorm of sorts...

    The storm had already started up, and going across Interstate 90 was tricky and slow.....

    What should have been a 2 hour ride was a four hour ride and white knuckle all the way...

    Got to hotel, and the people hanging in the parking lot said the show had been cancelled....

    I didnt believe them and drove to the coliseum...........once getting off the exit, the state police
    confirmed show was cancelled so I headed back to the hotel...

    And slept a good portion of the afternoon and evening.....

    I was not at the Holiday Inn Holidome but my friends were there and they said it was
    an absolute party with hundreds of people in there........the holidome makes for a
    perfect party spot since it has the indoor courtyard with pool and other games...

    Went to the show the next day------and it was the worst Grateful Dead show I had seen...

    I was taping the show and stood up on my seat and offered to sell the rest of my tickets
    for the other shows I had on the tour....

    My buddy convinced me not to do this, but go to the first show at the Cap Centre and
    if I felt the same way, to sell them....

    Went to the first show at the Cap Centre, and thankfully it was good...

    Saw the other two nights and kept seeing the dead til summer of 95....

  10. #10
    Registered User hobbs's Avatar
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    I was on spring break in Mexico drinking beer..
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  11. #11
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    I was on the way to see the Grateful Dead in Richfield, Ohio and left Erie, PA around 10 am, leaving my friends behind as they had been up all night partying.....

    I had driven up the night before to Erie to meet my friends and got no sleep due to their own snowstorm of sorts...

    The storm had already started up, and going across Interstate 90 was tricky and slow.....

    What should have been a 2 hour ride was a four hour ride and white knuckle all the way...

    Got to hotel, and the people hanging in the parking lot said the show had been cancelled....

    I didnt believe them and drove to the coliseum...........once getting off the exit, the state police
    confirmed show was cancelled so I headed back to the hotel...

    And slept a good portion of the afternoon and evening.....

    I was not at the Holiday Inn Holidome but my friends were there and they said it was
    an absolute party with hundreds of people in there........the holidome makes for a
    perfect party spot since it has the indoor courtyard with pool and other games...

    Went to the show the next day------and it was the worst Grateful Dead show I had seen...

    I was taping the show and stood up on my seat and offered to sell the rest of my tickets
    for the other shows I had on the tour....

    My buddy convinced me not to do this, but go to the first show at the Cap Centre and
    if I felt the same way, to sell them....

    Went to the first show at the Cap Centre, and thankfully it was good...

    Saw the other two nights and kept seeing the dead til summer of 95....
    Ahhh, the ole cap centre, seen alot of good shows there alot good memories from that place !!

  12. #12
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    Ahhh, the ole cap centre, seen alot of good shows there alot good memories from that plac


    while i grew up about 20 ish minutes from there----i really havent seen that many concerts there...

    Loverboy (my first rock concert) in 83
    Grateful Dead spring 93, fall of 94....
    Jerry Garcia Band in 93....

    and the Harlem Globetrotters maybe in 81....

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    My very first show was there Boston 76 , I was 12 me and my brother went I said I'm going down front and he said meet me back at the car when the shows over.
    Black sabbath
    Iron maiden
    ACDC
    Van Halen
    Rush
    Pink floyd
    Ted Nugent
    And many more

    And the Harlem Globetrotters not sure year

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    ...
    Here's a pic of the trail up to my tipi---
    ...
    I had a little battery radio and these were actual quotes during the storm---

    **"Stay indoors!!"
    **"It's the storm of the century!"
    **"Bring pets inside."
    **"All church services cancelled."
    **"106 mph winds on the coast."
    **"The weather science institute at M.I.T. says we're all doomed"(I made this one up).
    **"Stay tuned to the radio as we cover the Blizzard of '93"
    **"The birds are going crazy, throw out some bread."
    **"Snow depth has reached 18.5 inches."
    **"Jimmy Jones calls from his cell phone, says it's basically a white out."
    **"We are broadcasting on two stations in case you lose us on one."
    **"WSJK station in West Jefferson had to go off the air due to ice crystals on the transmitter."
    **"Sugar Grove caller reports 28 inches in a protected spot."
    **"City officials report a curfew beginning at 7pm in Boone."
    **"The National Guard is being called out."
    **"A group of 30 motorists stuck near Deep Gap will have to break into Parkway elementary school for the night. He wanted police to know this over the radio."
    Main issue not mentioned:
    **"There is a guy hiking in JEANS! He's gonna die!"

  15. #15
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    Funny you should ask. It is actually one of my favorite backpacking stories. Some details may be omitted to protect the guilty...

    It was a nice and balmy day when we left Clemson, SC. Started seeing snow around Franklin, NC and it was really coming down by the time we got to Newfound Gap. It seemed to amuse the busload of Japanese tourists when we piled out of my truck into the blizzard wearing shorts and t-shirts.

    My buddy Looch and I were experienced backpackers and well prepared, but our friend Ed not so much. He was using a lot of borrowed gear, but was lacking in the clothes and boots department. We set him up with a bagel bag and bread bag to use as vapor barriers in his shoes, a pair of heavy wool socks for mittens and Looch had a cheap Walmart rain suit stashed in his pack. I don’t think the rain suit had ever been taken out of the package but no telling how long it had been sitting around. As soon as Ed put the rain pants on over his pants, the crotch ripped out and the inseams started to peel apart. We ended up basically duct taping the pants on to him each day!

    It was already well into the afternoon by the time we got on the AT, but we were just heading to Icewater Spring shelter for the night and it was an easy walk in the accumulating snow. The shelter was full of very cold thru-hikers that night. Once everyone had kinda settled in, Priscilla the resident skunk, came out from under the bunks, sniffed everyone’s packs hanging at the front of the shelter and then shot out the door. I guess she wasn’t a fan of the snow and came back in very quickly, making a detour through the back of the fire place (with a fire going!) before heading back under the bunks.

    The next morning there was a good foot plus of snow and it was still coming down. We backtracked down the AT and got on the Boulevard trail. I know we started up the side trail to the Jump Off, but I think we decided that the view wouldn’t be the greatest in a snow storm. We took our time and had a great time post-holing our way towards Mt Le Conte. By the time we got to the shelter the snow was 2-3 feet deep and snow drifts even larger. We figured that we would have the shelter to ourselves, but as we were eating dinner the door swings open and a guy comes in with two backpacks. He had come up the Alum Cave trail and his companion had run out of energy a mile or so back. She showed up a few minutes later and was very relieved to be there.

    The next morning we all headed down Alum Cave trail together. It was still snowing and the deep snow made the sections of the trail with cables very tricky. The snow was up to the cables in places and it was hard to tell where the trail ended and a free fall would begin. But we made it to the trailhead safely and it was fortunate that we had run into these hikers. The plan had been to hitch back up to Newfound Gap, but of course 441 had been closed down at this point. Our fellow hikers dropped me off at my truck, went back to pick up my friends and then proceeded down to the locked gate on 441 to wait for another hour or so before a ranger came to let us out. It was still snowing and I don’t think it had stopped snowing for a minute in three days. It was great!

  16. #16

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    My backpacking buddy and WB member Hoppin John was caught in the Smokies during the Blizzard and spent 4 or 5 days in a trail shelter before being helicopter extracted. Maybe he'll chime in here and give a full report. Here's a pic of him during a more recent trip---




    And everyone should study the plight of the Cranbrook School from Michigan which runs 11 day backpacking trips in Citico/Slickrock for the last 52 years. They were caught in Citico Creek on North Fork trail during the storm and had to be helicopter rescued. One student and a trip leader lost appendages.

    See---
    https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs...126-story.html

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...403-story.html

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-...930-story.html

    I've been running into the "Cranberries" for years and often talk to the leaders about the big storm---here's a group I hiked behind during a blizzard in 2010---



    Uncle Fungus hanging out with Cranbrook leaders---

  17. #17

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    I'm pretty sure it wasn't that big a deal where we were. We were living in Quincy, MA and my recollection is we never lost power or anything like that. I'm pretty sure that it was a PITA shoveling out all the snow and we may have pissed off those we shared our driveway with as we owned a Jeep Cherokee at the time and were able to get out quicker than they were and do errands and such. We pretty much had to do all our errands on the weekends back then because it was the only time we had available. But pretty much in the north part of the country, unless you lose power for days, snow events are very minor so long as you stay off the road until the plows get a chance to do their job. Unlike our current state of Texas where we literally have to wait for the snow and ice to melt on the roads before we can safely go out even for groceries. But no worries! The store shelves are mostly empty because the trucks can't get to the stores either due to road conditions.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  18. #18

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    Now, the Blizzard of '78 was something else! Especially from my perspective living on a dirt road in a small town in ME. Took a week for the plows to clear our roads!
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  19. #19

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    The Cranbrook kids were rescued from Citico Creek wilderness and here's a few vids---

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAps2J1W-GA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3TcP-_pCls

    For anyone who knows the area---this seems to be the Jeffrey Hell trailhead into Citico where a group of regular backpackers had their truck buried---pic from video shot from the helicopter.




  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    Now, the Blizzard of '78 was something else! Especially from my perspective living on a dirt road in a small town in ME. Took a week for the plows to clear our roads!
    I agree. I was driving a tow truck in '78 and have some exciting memories. I don't remember the storm of '93 crippling us here in Indiana like it did in Appalachia. Certainly not as bad as '78.

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