Bama’s Bitter Blast survivors reunite at Embassy Suites

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Drivers stranded, students stuck in schools, thousands without power – almost all of us were affected by Bama’s Bitter Blast. Tonight, almost a month and a half after the storm, survivors of the snow reunited at the Embassy Suites in Homewood.

“We thought we might just get a few flurries,” says Bama Bitter Blast survivor CJ Haupt. “I even went out on the sidewalk and did a little snow dance. I was like yeah let it snow.”

That dance was on Tuesday, January 28th. And it must have worked because in a matter of hours all of Birmingham and many surrounding cities were brought to their knees by a dusting of snow and ice.

Debbie Roberson was anything but joyous when she saw the snow flakes. “Trouble,” says Roberson. “I thought this is a problem.”

Debbie and CJ both work at Iberia Bank. With the roads and interstates jam packed with ice and stranded cars, the two, along with a dozen other co-workers, sought refuge At Embassy Suites.

“We made friends with everybody,” says Haupt. “We even had a customer in our lobby and we just brought him right along with us.”

Another man, who sought shelter at the hotel says he and his son weren’t exactly roughing it.

“We were able to get dinner at Ruth’s Chris that night,” says survivor Rick Haley. “So I don’t know that we really were survivors. We’re staying at Embassy Suites. The people here were great, they had the bar open going all night.”

Overall many say the biggest thing they gained were new friendships and stronger bonds with existing ones.

“All in all it could have been so much worse,” says Haupt. “As employees and all we got closer. I found out the people I work with everyday truly are fabulous. Just like I thought they were.”

2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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