Five years ago a major ice storm hit the CSRA. Businesses, schools, and stores all closed and the two state sustained major damage. That day was February 12, 2014. Ice covered branches bringing trees down and icy roads halted any type of driving. The southeast truly stood still.
Where were you five years ago that day? That’s the question we posed to some of you when we hit the streets.
Tuesday started for many with the friendly Facebook reminder that five years ago to the date was the ice storm of 2014.
Here we are on Peach Orchard Road back then. I couldn’t miss this photo opportunity with two men working at Anytime Bail Bonding claiming they were bored.
“We weren’t getting any business that day. Everybody got a reprieve. Nobody was getting locked up. Too much ice. It was bad. It was bad,” Gary told us. “You pulled up in the parking lot and we wondered why were you out in this mess.”
That was Gary five years later. We caught up with him at the same business and he is still locking people up so he’s not sharing his last name. What he can share is our chance meeting.
“I think we were the only place you could park at because we never close and all the trees were down so it was not very far you could go,” he recalled.
The storm brought the CSRA to a screeching halt. NewsChannel 6 spent weeks reporting on closed roads, power outages, storm damage and the remarkable stories told by you our viewers between Richmond, Columbia and Aiken Counties and beyond. Some of you remember it quite well.
“I was in Atlanta, Georgia,” Michael Hopson said. “Actually, I had given my dad the generator the week before. He lives here in Augusta and it saved the day for the entire family.”
Brandyn Amerson remembers too.
“I was off work,” he said. “I had the day off. I loved it. Me and the family sat at the house by the fire around the fire place.”
Others do not.
“I really can’t remember it, honestly,” said Caitlin Miller.
And some, such as Ryan Mason, did not add it to the memory files of life.
“There’s more important things to think about than an ice storm. We can live through that.”
We reported that Richmond, Columbia and Aiken Counties saw $63 million worth of damage from the ice storm. It killed some of our bail bondsman’s trees and he’s still dealing with that damage today.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps