Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Ice Storm, Part I: Immediate Aftermath

It was a raw 27*F all day Wednesday, December 10. It was grey and somehow rained all day, despite below-freezing temperatures. Ice was building up.

By 10:30 pm our power flashed intermittently a few times (I had just mailed out an edited file to meet a deadline the next day, Ryan had just hopped out of the shower!) and then went out.

We saw this coming (how could we not, the way the weather forecasters went on about it?), so we were fairly prepared: coffee roasted and ground (we have priorities, you know), drinking water at the ready, flashlights with fresh batteries.

We tried to sleep, but it was a restless night, branches cracking and crashing down all around the barn. It was curiously light out all night, too.

A bleary-eyed Ryan was up at the crack of dawn, if not before, surveying the damage. We made coffee over the backpacking stove. He and a couple neighbors got out some chainsaws to clear out the driveway. I stayed in bed, drinking coffee and reading, ensconced in much fleece.

Looking across the driveway.

Soon the rain changed to snow as I scurried up the driveway to shoot some photos. I had to be careful not to linger beneath any trees. There was a din of crashing, cracking branches and limbs.

Snowy orchard.
(If you click on the photo, you may be able to see one of many branches broken off.)

For all the coffee we had ground, we were still without heat. With the snow falling fast, we were lured over to my folk's house where a wood stove was cranking out some warmth. Our road was down to one lane, and we just narrowly squeaked under a downed line. At one point we had to find an alternate route, because a tree had fallen across several lanes of highway. When we pulled into their road, we saw more downed limbs.

More to come...


Dustin said...

man that takes me back... beautiful but harsh.

Cotton Wool & Silk said...

Those are wonderful photos. . .great to see you today!