Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Blizzard of '94


Snow picture on Ann's Farm 2013
We've had a little snow several times this winter, but it has been a little each time. An inch here. A couple of inches there, or maybe only a trace. We even had a little ice one day but it mostly clung to the trees and didn't coat the ground. I like snow like that. The kind that doesn't keep you from going where you have to go.The kind that you can walk around in without wearing hip boots. The kind where the sun comes out the next day and shoots the temperature back above freezing so that the white stuff doesn't out stay its welcome.

But there have been winters in Kentucky where the snow wasn't so accomodating. The blizzard of '94 was one of those times. Snow came down heavy on the 17th of January all across Kentucky with a single day snowfall record of more than 15 inches set in Louisville. In our area a bit southeast of Louisville, we had over 20 inches. You northern friends are probably saying that's nothing, but it was a lot for us. You've got to remember that we're almost south.

But it was what came next that made the storm one to remember. Somebody up in Canada left the door open or maybe it was the North Pole. An intensely cold air mass swept down into Kentucky bringing record temperatures. Louisville set an all-time low of minus 22, but in Shelbyville the temperature plunged to minus 37. I don't remember it being that cold here. Minus 20 something, but then maybe the windows were too iced over for me to see the thermometor outside.  

In Louisville, city snowplows slid into ditches because no one could find the tire chains. It had been so long since they'd been needed, that they'd been misplaced. The state insisted that its top priority was interstate highways. But I-64 resembled a glazed washboard. Ultimately, the interstates got so bad that the governor ordered them closed for two days. Folks stayed home and tried to stay warm.

But even after the roads re-opened, they were still ice covered. I was working then in Lexington and rode with my sister. She had a car that could go, but I remember the jarring ride as we went over those frozen roads. The temperatures were so low that the salt wasn't melting the snow and ice.

We've had other major snowfalls here in Kentucky. The winters of '76, '77 and '78 kept the kids out of school so long they were almost sorry to hear the no school announcement on the radio every morning. 

Do you remember the blizzard of '94? Or what storms stopped you in your tracks? I think ice storms are the worst but those cold temps in '94 were hard to like.

As always, thanks for reading. And remember a comment gets you entered in a drawing for a copy of soon to be newly released Scent of Lilacs.

12 comments:

  1. I remember the storm of '94. I was stuck for 7 days with family and a good friend. We played, for hours in the drifts, snowball fights and sledding!!! Digging out our dogs in the middle of the night and bringing them in the house. Hot chocolate with marshmallows, veg. soup. Playing games, watching movies. Good memories!!

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    1. You're making me almost wish for one of those snowed in storms. I'll pass on the snowball fights and sledding, but hot chocolate, vegetable soup, board games and movies sound fun.

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  2. My sister and brother-in-law live your area and he said there was about 5" I figured he upped that a little as he is apt to do when he tells a story. I like to see snow too, we finally had just a litte couple yrs ago here in Ga and it was so nice to get few pics.
    thanks for sharing your Ky with us. I remember that big winter snow, glad I was NOT there then.
    Paula O

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    1. Now he might have had more snow than we did, Paula, and I didn't measure. Could have been a few inches. But it's melting away now. I used to not mind a little snow, but now that I have to go sit with mother, I can't stay home. I have to get out on the roads. Thank goodness for the blessing of front wheel drive. Snow is always an event in GA.

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  3. Even though I was young I remember the snow storm of 94. Both my parents were stuck at work. I was snowed in with papaw for a week, and remember him hooking my dog to my sled and having her pull me around the yard she was a Samoyed ; after I was bundled up. I still had a blast.

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    1. Snowed in with papaw and your dog sounds like fun. Doing a little Alaskan sledding had to be fun too. Thanks for sharing your storm memories, Carissa.

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  4. Hi Ann,
    Just found a true treasure...one of your older books called "The Gifting". I absolutely LOVE this book. I think you should re-release it.
    Page 71..."Don't ruin a gifting by measuring it. Just enjoy". Your words are magic Ann.

    I lived in Owensboro, Ky. the winters of 76, 77 and 78 and I do remember those snows and being out of school for so long.

    Blessings to you,
    Cathy

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    1. Cathy, what fun that you read one of my older books and even more fun that you enjoyed it. That was a nice quote from it, wasn't it? Of course, I wrote it so long ago that I don't remember writing those words, but I'm glad I did. :) I like my little book, The Gifting. That story got me through some hard months. Maybe I'll blog about that tonight.

      Those were the three bad snow winters for sure. I was ready to start home schooling the kids just to give them something to do. LOL.

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  5. I've lived in Rochester, NY where Lake Ontario becomes a snow-making machine-called lake effect snow! After being plowed the snowpiles would be so high trucks had to haul the snow away! Now in PA the biggest snowfall has been about four feet! My mom gets so excited when she hears it's snowing...I just groan! It is pretty when it's falling! I guess I'm a southern girl who will never adjust to the frigid temps. Have a blessed week...Linda

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    1. You know snow the way I don't, Linda. I did visit my daughter once in Baltimore after a snowstorm. Days after. I'll never forget the huge walls of snow on the sides of the road. When you pulled up to an intersection it was like being between two concrete walls higher than the car. Made for interesting driving, but the roads were totally clear. We missed the snow, but saw the remains. I like a little snow every year, but when they start measuring it in feet, I'm no longer a snow lover.

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  6. I grew up in Colorado and I know what a blizzard is like. I recall my Dad crawling out of the attic window and jumping down into the snow to shovel it from in front of the door so we could get out. I remember being "stir-crazy" because I could not go outside and play.
    Now I live in Arizona and put up with the warmer climate. Suits me fine and we don't have to shovel it.

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    1. Thanks for your blizzard story, Joye. I used to read books set in western states that talked about making tunnels through the snow to the barn in the winter. Always hard for me to imagine, but I have no trouble seeing your dad crawl out the attic window to shovel out the door. That had to be one hard shoveling job. And you're certainly right. Never have to shovel away that sunshine. :)

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Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.