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Y2K ... no way
Decade later, officials recall big night that didn't 'fizzle'
Y2K page
A decade ago, Y2K was the top story in Forsyth County. - photo by File photo
The world didn’t end 10 years ago tonight, but many stocked up on food and supplies and made survival plans just in case.

Midnight marks the anniversary of what became known as Y2K, the day when computers worldwide were expected to fail, triggering chaos, massive power outages and financial crashes.

As it turned out, the night came and went with its usual revelry and not much else.

Forsyth County News accounts of that time show only a small glitch in the county’s planning and development software was reported.

As far as the city of Cumming was concerned, there were no problems at all.

Forsyth County Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Freeman said the night “didn’t even fizzle.”

“It came in just like any other new year with no changes,” he said. “I think a lot of people found themselves in a little bit of an overkill situation.”

Freeman, who has been with the force for 23 years, said the sheriff’s office had about 20 additional deputies working during the 24-hour New Year’s Eve holiday period. The sheriff’s SWAT team was on standby.

Local authorities also stocked up on meals ready to eat, or MREs, and ammunition, but not because they were expecting any serious incidents.

“Remember, Y2K brought about a huge buying frenzy and it created some shortage on certain items,” Freeman said. “We knew that if there was any type of situation that came out of it, you didn’t want to be behind the eight ball and go try to find certain items after the fact.”

In addition to food and water, many residents pulled cash from ATMs and filled their vehicles with gas.

Freeman said the catastrophe-that-wasn’t likely proved costly for many organizations.

Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman had retired from the Fulton County Fire Department a couple months earlier and was living in west Georgia during Y2K.

“I was sitting back waiting on the power to go off and none of the computers to work and I woke up the next morning and the lights were on and the computer worked,” Bowman said.

He added that a book he had read claimed life as everyone knew it would end Jan. 1, 2000. Like many others, he believed it.

“I got up Jan. 1 and life went on,” he said.

Bowman laughed as he admitted having stocked up in preparation for the event.

“They suckered me right into it,” he said. “The whole month of January I ate canned goods and drank bottled water.”