Tin Blizzardversary

Happy ten-year anniversary of the ’96 blizzard!

It was a decade ago today that things got a little more awesome in Charlottesville, at least for me as a 17-year-old who weathered the storm downtown. Admittedly, it wasn’t so hot for the VDOT employees who died or all of the people without power. I went downtown with some friends in the middle of the night and we took turns climbing up on construction equipment in front of Mudhouse and stage-diving into the 3′ of powder. My friend Noah spent the night on the roof of the Old Michie Building to test out his new bivvy sack. We’d go hours without seeing a soul.

Do you have any memories of the storm?

(Via the unintentionally hilarious Outskirts)

7 Responses to “Tin Blizzardversary”


  • jeebus. was that 10 years ago? man, that was a fun storm. we never lost power, so we just sat around drinking and playing madden 96 on the old sega genesis for three days. good times.

  • Missing school was good. Playing in the snow was better. I was a real youngin’ then, way back in middle school. I remember the snow being plowed out of the driveways back home, leaving six foot snow walls on either side, allowing for a lot of tunneling and forts for snowball fights. Good times.

  • No threadjack intended, but nonetheless (it’s somewhat [future?] blizzard-related): does anyone know anywhere local to buy coal for a stove? I hear rumours that some shop dowtown, south of the Mall, sells bags.

    I loved the ’96 blizzard. Was in White Hall and had no power for a week. Hauled water out of the cattle tank to flush the toilet. Cooked in the fireplace and on the gas grill. Drove the tractor to check in old folks (no relation) who really trapped, and thought they were forgotten and would die.

  • Guess what? There are two coal dealers in the Yellow Pages.
    http://charlottesville.bestredyp.com/

    My other important thoughts…

    Maybe Gleason’s Hardware? Garret Street.
    http://www.s-vs.com/gleasons/
    or Southern States or Tractor Supply (TS sells wood pellets for pellet stoves, anyway.)

    The place that Lethal Wrecker moved into, under the Belmont Bridge, used to be a coal dealer, like six years ago.

  • I lived out in Free Union at the time and I was 17 years old. I managed to get stuck in town and generally had a very good time staying alternately with friends and at the Omni. I don’t even want to say how much fun I had since my parents are probably reading this.

    Less fun was walking 2 miles through the snow to bring Waldo food and medicine when he got the flu after being similarly stranded with a vegan friend who had no actual food or medicine that wasn’t a bunch of hippie soy crap or homeopathic quackery.

  • Was stranded near a bunch of coworkers at Ivy Gardens through most of the blizzard. We all took turns hoofing out for beer. Infinitely more fun than the usual job!

    Although I couldn’t hear it from my apartment, I remember people talking about listening to trees snap nonstop, with the weight of the ice. The number of downed limbs, after that storm, was amazing.

  • I worked at UVA Hosptial then as an audio/visual tech. My job was considered essential so I had to walk through the snow to get to work. Thank goodness I lived off JPA! Once at work, I would swap out the patient videos for the closed ciruit TV and then basically sit around until they needed changing again. Because any lectures or meetings I would have been needed for were cancelled.

    It fell on a Saturday or Sunday, right? I do remember my boyfriend and I going out the night before to get groceries, not knowing anything about the storm, but there were no crowds and stocked shelves. So when we did need my car after the thaw, we had luckily parked on the street rather than the hilly side street.

    A good friend lived on the West Range and we walked over to his place with a flask of bourbon for some sledding fun. The 3 of us bundled up and wandered over to Carr’s Hill and buried the flask in the snow for chilly goodness :) When we got hungry I suggested St Maarten Cafe, our favorite hangout. They were positive that it would be closed, but trusted me when I said Jim never closes and I was right! After chowing down and guzzling more than a few mugs of beer, we went back to the Lawn and sat in front of our friend’s fire for some coffee goodness.

    I think later that evening, while it was still light, more friends joined us, or at least another evening they did. I have a picture from when those fools considered streaking the Lawn.

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