Monday, January 17, 2022

Remembering Snow Jam: the Storm That Paralyzed Atlanta 40 Years In the past This Week

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Wintertime routinely means snow for a lot of the nation, however in metro Atlanta, the place I reside, it’s a a lot rarer incidence. Often we get a snowstorm that paralyzes town, and one such storm that has lived on in infamy befell 40 years in the past this week. It took on the title Snow Jam, and it nonetheless haunts some Atlantans.

The second week of Jan. 1982 introduced bitter cold to north Georgia. On Jan. 10, temperatures dipped to a file of -2° F, adopted by one other file low of -5° F the next night time. A line of storms got here by means of, and you realize what occurs whenever you combine water and excessive chilly.

Simply earlier than rush hour on Jan. 12, heavy snow fell and caught instantly. It was a Tuesday afternoon, and commuters discovered themselves paralyzed on snowy roads. A lot of them merely left their automobiles the place they stopped, whereas others have been concerned in accidents.

Columnist Thornton Kennedy recalls the dangerous conditions that the snowstorm introduced:

There have been automotive accidents on prime of automotive accidents on prime of automotive accidents. Autos have been deserted on the edges of the roads. Individuals walked miles to get to their houses. Whereas there was a thaw the subsequent day, the subsequent night it froze once more. Sheets of ice lined Atlanta. Many went days with out energy.

Native information footage from that point reveals how stranded some individuals have been, in addition to how harmful it was for some individuals to get their autos unstuck.

Snow Jam even affected public transportation:

For individuals like my household who lived on the outskirts of metro Atlanta, we didn’t have to fret in regards to the site visitors — simply energy outages. A very powerful factor for me was getting out of college and enjoying within the snow, though it was so chilly we couldn’t spend a lot time exterior at a stretch.

The one factor about Snow Jam that caught out probably the most to me (I used to be 9) was a information report about a bit of woman near my age who stumbled onto a reside energy line that had fallen and misplaced a number of limbs in consequence. It was a harrowing story that stayed with me to today.

From the Time Machine: The Better (Snow) Angels Of Our Nature

I don’t recall my dad and mom taking any photographs that week, so that you’ll must accept another person’s reminiscences:

I crowdsourced some Snow Jam reminiscences on Fb. One buddy, Tim, informed me how he remembered enjoying soccer within the snow, falling right into a creek, and warming by a wooden range, whereas one other buddy, Tracy, recalled utilizing the again porch as a fridge as a result of the ability was out and it was so chilly exterior — and in addition having to cancel her birthday celebration as a result of snow.

Melissa, one other buddy of mine, says that when she appears again, she will be able to’t imagine we had that a lot snow, and he or she nonetheless has an image of the snowman she made that week. One buddy, Sharon, mentioned that she had her first automotive wreck throughout Snow Jam, whereas my buddy and neighbor Allison remembers being eight months pregnant and dwelling in an condominium throughout the storm.

My cousin Karol informed me that, due to the storm, it took her husband Rusty 12 hours to get dwelling.

“He was caught on 285 [the interstate highway that serves as a perimeter around Atlanta], truly took three individuals to their homes, and would get again on 285,” she informed me. “He truly slid right into a police automotive throughout a type of journeys. I used to be caught at work, my boss introduced me to his home, (which he had purchased from Billy and Frances) [my maternal grandparents —CQ], and Rusty picked me up there. No energy for about 5 days. Loopy, loopy time!”

My buddy Amanda remembers driving dwelling from faculty on the northeastern fringe of I-285.

“I used to be a senior in highschool,” she informed me. “They allow us to out at midday and I used to be a brand new driver. My sister and I have been in our bug close to Northlake mall. My sister noticed a classmate who had spun out and informed me to cease. I informed her, no method! We wish to be certain that we make it dwelling on time. I bear in mind it took a very long time to get dwelling.”

Snow Jam wasn’t the one main snowstorm Atlanta has skilled. My mother talked about to me that after I was a child, a 1973 storm gripped Atlanta. One other storm in 1983 dropped eight inches of snow on town however didn’t have the impact that Snow Jam did.

In 1993, a blizzard put metro Atlanta at a standstill. I bear in mind being with out energy for 3 or 4 days. After which, there was the notorious Snowpocalypse incident in Jan. 2014, the place a sudden storm left commuters stranded in site visitors for hours.

We’re bracing for potential snow and ice this weekend in north Georgia, too. However our trendy meteorological instruments will assist Atlantans be higher ready. And that’s as a result of we’ll never forget Snow Jam.

Source: PJ Media

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