One more blizzard story: Bringing home baby

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The 1993 blizzard was an important homecoming for one Roane County resident and his parents.

At noon on the day it started to snow, Ray and Ann Stewart brought their new bundle of joy, Dalton, home from the hospital.

“That night our power went out, leaving us with no heat or water,” Ann said. “We put our baby in his carrier and covered it with blankets and quilts.”

The trio headed out into the blizzard at 1 a.m. in their four-wheel-drive truck and headed to the home of her parents, C.J. and Peggy Ragsdale.

“They had a fireplace; at least we could be warm.” Ann said. “The next day ... Momma also cooked on that fireplace. No one had water at that time out in the county.”

“My daddy just had to get out, so he went to our neighborhood store, Dutton’s Grocery,” Ann recalled. “Gene Dutton was trying to get the generator from a motorhome rigged up to the store so they could have power. Daddy and Ray got to helping him, and soon they were selling gas and kerosene to the ones who could get out. Ray and Daddy came home with all kind of snack cakes and bread.”

On Sunday, Ray decided to take the family to Kingston to his mother’s, Dessie Rivers.

“She had power and water,” ann said. “A 10-mile trip from East Roane County took quite a while, but we made it safely. We stayed there until Tuesday, when our power came back on in Dogwood Valley.”

“I was never so glad to be home with my new little family,” Ann said. “We all survived, but it seems like a dream to me now.”

Dalton Stewart was Ann’s first and only baby.

Eighteen years later, in 2011, he graduated from Roane County High School ­— as valedictorian of his class.