‘So cool': Longtime Destinites reflect on days of Destin's snowy past

Matt Algarin
These undated photos in The Log’s archives are likely from the 1973 snowstorm in Destin.

Snow in Destin is about as common as Hurricanes in Washington State, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

"Oh yeah, we've had snow several times," said longtime Destinite Cyron Marler. "It snowed in 1973, I was in 10th grade. It stuck to the ground; it took us about three to four houses to build a snowman."

"I was in shorts and a t-shirt, and didn't have shoes on," he added. "I ran outside; it was so cool."

What the Weather Channel has been calling Winter Storm Leon put a big freeze on the Southern United States and caused a bevy of schools and businesses to close their doors due to inclement weather. In Destin, snow accumulation was a possible Tuesday, given the right conditions.

Marler told The Log that he also remembered snowfall in the early '80s, when he was working at Sandpiper Cove, as well as during a storm in the early '90s, which may have been the "Storm of the Century." This winter storm dumped snow along the Gulf Coast, with reports of 17 inches in Birmingham and 4 inches in Mobile.

Mayor Sam Seevers told The Log she remembers the storm of 1993, but the snowfall in 1984 jogs more vivid memories. She was working on Sandestin at the time and said the extreme cold caused pipes to burst.

"We were trying to winterize," she said. "But pipes were breaking everywhere and we had a lot of damage — it was so unusual."

Seevers said there was snow accumulation on the ground at the time, which wreaked havoc on motorists.

"There was ice all over and cars were sliding around," Seevers remembered. "It was like a derby on Highway 98."

Kathy Marler Blue, who works at the Destin History and Fishing Museum, said there are no real stories or accounts of snow on file at the museum, but she does remember snow falling in 1956, then again when she was in her 20s.

"I remember as a child, I was maybe five or six at the time, looking at the magnolia tree out of my grandmother's window on Calhoun and it was covered with snow," she said. "I only recall snow twice in my life."