Snow storm brings back memories of the Blizzard of 1993

Snow storm brings back memories of the Blizzard of 1993

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On day one of the Blizzard of 1993, more than 11 inches fell, and it brought everything to a standstill. On day one of the Blizzard of 1993, more than 11 inches fell, and it brought everything to a standstill.
Carl Bell says KUB learned a number of lessons from that storm. Like Wednesday night's snow, it was extremely wet and heavy, leading to a lot of downed trees and limbs. Carl Bell says KUB learned a number of lessons from that storm. Like Wednesday night's snow, it was extremely wet and heavy, leading to a lot of downed trees and limbs.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - While Wednesday's snowfall is the most East Tennessee has seen in more than 20 years, it pales in comparison to the Blizzard of 1993.

McGhee Tyson Airport recorded 5.8 inches, but in 1993, in just one day, more than 11 inches of snow fell across East Tennessee, and that was just the beginning. 

For three days, snow fell here. On day one, more than 11 inches fell, and it brought everything to a standstill.

By the third day, the situation had become, for many, life threatening.

Across the KUB system alone, more than 45,000 homes were without power. That was just Knoxville. In counties across the 6 News viewing area, some homes would be without power for weeks, sending many people to shelters.

Carl Bell was an apprentice linesman for KUB in 1993. Today he is a supervisor. We asked him what he remembers about the blizzard.

"Besides the bitter cold, lots of snow, working long hours, not getting home very often, just a lot of hard work," he answered.

All that hard work brought power back to most homes within a few days. Others waited longer, causing frustration.

"No matter how frustrated they were at the beginning, when we got their power back, their lights back on, they were more than happy with all the work we did for them," said Bell.

Bell says KUB learned a number of lessons from that storm. Like Wednesday night's snow, it was extremely wet and heavy, leading to a lot of downed trees and limbs.

Since 1993, KUB has been much more aggressive in cleaning up vegetation along transmission lines, in effect fixing the problem, before it becomes an outage.

An example is a stretch of lines near Beaver Brook Country Club.

"There was a large tree in that span that went down that Friday night of the blizzard and it took until Monday to get the power back on," said Bell.

The Blizzard of '93 is just a memory for most of us,  but its impact continues even today.

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