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Blizzard of '93 baby now grown, father of a 'pandemic baby'

In December of 1993, dozens of babies were born all over East Tennessee — nine months after the legendary blizzard.

MARYVILLE, Tennessee — The Blevins family is used to good-natured jokes when a weather system comes through.

"Every time it snowed, people would call," Jay Blevins admits.

They would call for good reasons. Jay and Lisa welcomed their son, Daniel, in December of 1993 — nine months after a blizzard blanketed East Tennessee and left many folks without power, and a lot of downtime.

"There were 40 babies born at UT that day," said Lisa Blevins. "They didn't have a room for us. I remember being out in the hallway in a bed."

Even with dozens of other "blizzard babies" born, the Blevins certainly made an impression.

"Because Jay is so funny, and the doctor just loved him. He said, 'I'm going to make you famous, put you on TV,'" Lisa said.

WBIR profiled Jay and Lisa and their then-newborn son Daniel in December of 1993 and checked in with them over the years, as they grew to include daughter, Jessica.

"At that time you had your answering machines," Jay says. "We had calls left by friends and family saying, 'Snow's coming.' We still get those." 

For Daniel, being a "blizzard baby" isn't something he immediately talks about.

"Everyone knows about it and will know about it again," Daniel said. "My parents' friends talk about it a lot when we have a snowstorm in March or April."

They say the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, and it might be true. Daniel married his wife Kelsy during the COVID-19 pandemic and their daughter Harper is a "pandemic baby."

"It took a blizzard for my dad to get blessed with me and took a pandemic for me to get blessed," Daniel said.

His wife, Kelsey, says Daniel is always reminded about his unique birth story every year at this time.

"This clip runs on Facebook and he gets embarrassed," Kelsey said. "Now my family gives him a hard time."

Kelsey and Daniel are expecting their second daughter together later this year. She'll join big sister Harper and big brother Aidan, Kelsey's son from another relationship.

"My dad was 30 when he had me," Daniel said. "In December,  I'll be 30 and have mine."

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