Remembering 1993 blizzard - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Remembering the historic blizzard of 1993 in Alabama 20 years later

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Viewer submitted photo of the blizzard that blanketed Alabama in 1993. Viewer submitted photo of the blizzard that blanketed Alabama in 1993.
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

In Alabama, sleds don't get much use and usually end up in storage somewhere collecting dust. But 20 years ago, there was twenty inches of snow, enough to take advantage of all the hills.

Countless home videos and photos captured the once in a lifetime experience.

"I just remember playing outside. We built an igloo. It got very old after a while because we had no power and couldn't dry our clothes," said Heather Hurt who was a teenager during the Blizzard of 1993.

ABC 33/40 Chief Meteorologist James Spann was of course on air when the storm hit March 12, 1993. He forecasted six to eight inches of snow.

"People thought I was crazy. They thought I was a loon but that wasn't enough," said Spann.

Thirteen inches blanketed Birmingham. Up to twenty inches covered areas of Mountain Brook, Hoover and Vestavia Hills. The storm also came with lighting and hurricane force winds.

Spann got stranded at the station.

"I'd never shoveled snow before. I decided Sunday afternoon, 'I'm going home.' I'm shoveling my car from underneath the snow and going home. After an hour, I made no process. I was dead," he said.

Widespread power outages forced people to bundle up and try to seek shelter elsewhere. There were also space heaters fires, people stranded without medicine and buildings collapsing from the weight of the snow. The National Guard even had to take a pregnant woman in labor to the hospital. It was disaster from the standpoint of the Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency.

"Are you really going to get out of this? Because all that snow that quick. No one is ever ready for that much snow," recalled Jefferson County EMA director Allen Knipher of his thoughts that day.

But it was an experience for the ages filled with stories for future generations.

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