Excerpts from some of the snow stories that appeared in the Feb. 11, 1973, edition of the Macon Telegraph and News:
Macon Struggles To Regain Footing After Record-Setting 16-Inch Snow
Macon, with aid from across the state, began Saturday digging out of a record snowfall that paralyzed transportation and left many without power to light and heat homes.
A task force of 700 government, National Guard and volunteer workers centered their efforts on providing food, shelter and medical supplies for those in need for the hundreds of motorists stranded in the area.
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Civil Defense officials said travel on most roads in Bibb and Houston counties was difficult despite the fact that some snow melted Saturday afternoon.
Civil Defense Director Wayne “Wink” Dubose warned that freezing temperatures expected Saturday night would create dangerous conditions on all roads in the area Sunday.
Mayor Ronnie Thompson, in an effort to keep motorists off the roads, ordered the curfew which went into effect Friday at 8 p.m. continued at least through Sunday.
-- story by John Turner and Phil Dodson
Middle Georgia: Fun, But ...
For some Middle Georgians, the snow was fun. For others, it meant transportation problems, power failure and damage to trees and property.
Reports on amount of snowfall varied from 15 inches in Monticello to one inch in Valdotsta. The heaviest snow fell in a band about 50 miles to the north and south of a line through Columbus, Macon and Augusta. Macon had 15 inches, Monticello, 15, Columbus, 15; Cordele, 4; Dublin, 6; and Lumber City, 3.
Transportation was the major problem. Macon and Forsyth were critical areas where hundreds of stranded motorists jammed into National Guard Armories seeking shelter from the storm.
In Montezuma, the National Guard, volunteers from the area and the nearby Mennonite community took road equipment and privately owned tractors and plows to clear Montezuma streets. Nursers on the nursing home and two hospitals’ staffs in Montezuma were escorted to and from their home by policemen.
Sheriff Buford Lingold of Baldwin County reported that 10 deputies and 40 Civil Defense workers and community volunteers also had to help hospitals change shifts Saturday because nothing “but a four-wheel drive” vehicle could move in the area.
-- story by Roger Ann Jones
Stranded Total 65
More than 65 travelers who were stranded in record snowfall were rescued by National Guardsmen and volunteers in Macon.
National Guardsmen of the 1st Battalion of the 121st Infantry in Macon and volunteers using their personal vehicles rescued the persons stranded in the Macon area Friday night and Saturday.
The motorists were taken to the National Guard Armory on Shurling Drive where they were fed and where some stayed and relaxed.
Guardsmen arranged onward transportation for some, turned others over to the local Civil Defense unit for lodging until they could resume their travels and allowed others to remain at the armory.
-- story by Randall Savage
Snow-slick Interstate 75Brings Traffic to a Halt
Interstate 75, a silver ribbon of speed and convenience through Georgia, became a paralyzed tangle of abandoned vehicles Saturday as heavy snows brought traffic to a standstill.
State troopers at the Tennessee and Florida state lines warned motorists that snow and immobilized vehicles had made the road impassable, and officers had set up barricades at Cordele to the south and McDonough to the north.
Much of the problem was caused by tractor-trailer rigs, many of them jackknifed into position blocking the roadway.
Trooper E.A. Floyd of the Cordele station said the interstate was barricaded at its junction with U.S. 280.
Around 50-60 tractor trailer trucks were scattered along the area north to Macon and Forsyth, he said.
Motorists stranded in Cordele were being aided by local churches, he said.
The churches were providing food and lodging, and also attempting to place people in private homes for the night.
Between 1,000 and 1,500 people were reported stranded in the area with communities along the route making Samaritan efforts to aid the stricken.
-- story by Ron Carter