NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It was a little more than 70 years ago when areas of Tennessee were hit by an extreme winter storm, known as “The Great Blizzard of 1951.” But it wasn’t actually a blizzard.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the storm didn’t have strong enough winds to be categorized as a blizzard in meteorological definitions.

The storm started Jan. 29, 1951, and ended Feb. 1, burying Nashville under 8 inches of snow and ice.

1951 Blizzard Traffic Jam
Nashville, Tenn., 1951: Ralph Morrissey Collection.

Two people were killed in weather-related car accidents, said the NWS.

The storm also led to one of the largest traffic jams in Nashville’s history due to hundreds of people abandoning their cars. The weight of the ice on power lines and trees resulted in collapsed lines and downed thousands of trees. Several homeowners experienced roof collapses as well.

Plane and train transportation were force to shut down.

NWS reports 80,000 people were without power. All businesses were shut down, and people were stuck inside their homes for almost three days.

It took 11 days for the snow and ice to completely melt, according to the NWS.

NWS said the cost of the damage left behind was around $2 million in 1951.

While residents who lived through the Nashville blizzard still compare other winter storms to it, there’s another ice storm that battered the Deep South that comes to mind.

The 2014 ice and sleet storm that took place Jan. 28 and 29 shut down many cities across the South, mainly in Alabama and Georgia.

Atlanta, Georgia ice storm traffic jam (Courtesy National Weather Service)

Many still remember how the city of Atlanta had standstill traffic for nearly 24 hours as 2-3 inches of snow fell in the area. Those in the area dubbed that storm “Snowmageddon.”

News 2’s Marcus Bagwell said, “As a Meteorologist, winter weather forecasting is the hardest weather to predict in this part of the country! We use events like these, the available model data and temperature profiles, to assist us in forecasting potential significant winter weather events.”

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