A review of the news that made The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s front pages through the decades.

Mother Nature has, over the years, thrown metro Atlanta some nasty weather-related curves that even Braves legend John Smoltz could appreciate. The March 13, 1993, arctic blast which slammed Atlanta and north Georgia 30 years ago certainly counts among her most memorable strikes.

The Blizzard of ‘93, with its howling winds, blowing snow and frigid temperatures, shocked a South already settling into springtime.

ExploreFirst person: Surviving the Blizzard of '93

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Hailed as “The Storm of the Century” when it blasted the eastern part of the United States, the system left 15 dead in Georgia. Across the U.S., Canada and Cuba, the death toll hit 310.

While it was in full force, the storm pounded the northern half of Georgia relentlessly.

“A snowstorm for the ages crippled much of the state (yesterday),” AJC staff writers Scott Marshall and Dennis McCafferty reported Sunday, March 14, “leaving 450,000 people without power, stranding motorists on roadways from the mountains to Middle Georgia.”

ExploreRemembering the Blizzard of '93

Gov. Zell Miller didn’t mince words in his assessment of the crisis.

“We have one of the most severe situations this state has ever faced,” he told the paper. “The top half of this state is paralyzed. That’s the only way you can phrase it.”

Practically no part of the state was spared.

“Snowfall ranged from 4 inches at Hartsfield International Airport to more than 1 ½ feet in the mountains,” Marshall and McCafferty wrote. “Snow touched everywhere in Georgia except the offshore islands.”


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High winds, bitter cold and stinging snow made for “the kind of snowstorm even a child couldn’t enjoy,” the pair told readers. “A winter wonderland this was not.”

“The story here is not of bobsleds,” Bill Cranford, trapped in his Kennesaw neighborhood, said. “It’s one of misery.”

Well, not exactly. Not for those Atlantans who bundled up, braved the weather and sought succor in those local watering holes still enjoying power. Aunt Charley’s in Buckhead “drew crowds of people ready to watch basketball tournaments and swap snow stories,” AJC reporter Rochelle Bozman wrote.

“Everybody’s partying, having a great time,” bartender Laura McVay told Bozman. “They might be drinking a little more than usual. It’s a snow day. It’s a holiday.”

Credit: David Tulis

Credit: David Tulis

Georgia native Alfie Means wasn’t perturbed by the blizzard. He and his roommate opted to have a blast of their own as the blizzard raged.

“First thing we did this morning was get vodka and bloody mary mix and eggs,” Means said.


In this series, we scour the AJC archives for the most interesting news from days gone by, show you original articles and update the story. If you have a story you’d like researched and featured in AJC Deja News, send an email with as much information as you know.