2014 winter storm isn't 1st to cripple Atlanta

  • Associated Press
  • January 29, 2014 - 4:50 PM

ATLANTA — The winter storm that left Atlanta-area commuters stranded in cars overnight and thousands of children sleeping on cots at schools is far from the first to paralyze the Southern city. Here's a glance at four decades of wicked winter weather events that stunned Hotlanta:

—Jan. 9, 2011: A winter storm dumps ice and snow across Georgia, virtually shutting down metro Atlanta for three days. The state Department of Transportation spends more than $5 million spreading at least 10,000 tons of salt and gravel on ice-covered roads and interstates.

—March 1, 2009: A rare March snowstorm hits the South, shutting down schools across 170 miles of central and north Georgia from Columbus to Athens.

—Jan. 29, 2005: A wicked mix of ice, sleet and freezing rain knocks out electricity to 250,000 homes in metro Atlanta and north Georgia and grounds hundreds of flights at the Atlanta airport.

—Jan. 23, 2000: An ice storm shatters trees, topples utility poles and snaps power lines across north Georgia, leaving more than 500,000 homes and businesses without electricity. Some Georgians shiver for days without electricity after the governor declares a state of emergency in 20 counties. Damage estimates from the storm top $35 million.

—March 13, 1993: Just in time for spring, a blizzard batters Georgia and the rest of the southeast. North Georgia gets 16 inches of snow, and neighboring states share the misery. Wind piles snow into 6-foot drifts in Alabama, while snowfall gets ankle-deep in parts of Florida.

—March 24, 1983: Another late-season snowstorm takes metro Atlanta by surprise, ambushing residents with nearly 8 inches of snow.

—Jan. 12, 1982: Dubbed "Snow Jam 1982" by those who live through it, a winter storm dumps 6 inches of snow across Atlanta. People end up trapped at work or, worse, stuck on the highways during their evening commute. Many abandon their cars after deciding to seek shelter on foot.

—Jan. 7, 1973: Freezing rain, sleet and snow shut down Atlanta and parts of north Georgia. An estimated 200,000 people are without electricity for several days.

© 2018 Star Tribune