Even though it is 71* as I sit down on the last day of January to write this account, when the weather man mentioned threat of a storm this coming week andsaid sleet/snow/ice with a low temp of 31* was possible.
I remembered I hadn't told you in detail yet of the ICE STORM of 2009.
Seeing where the anniversary of the beginning of this event was just this past week I decided it was a good time! I alluded to it here with my Snippet about the defrosting garlic http://jonquiljunction.blogspot.com/search?q=garlic
This storm occurred the last couple of days of January and what a doozy!
The weather man (I can still see his face) talked all day long about the danger
of what we MIGHT be in for.
So when you live in a remote location, your preparedness level rises
with every broadcast. Haul more wood, water, wrack your brain is there
anything you can't do without for a few days?
Fill the kerosene lanterns, move hay closerto the pens.
Secure the vehicles from debris, secure the animals, etc.etc.etc.
Well during the early evening he stood there on the 6 o'clock broadcast and said
"folks this will be a significant EVENT, up to 3/4" accumulation of ice!"
At 10 o'clock my husband, who thought I was worrying more than need be, stood outside for a few minutes, came back in and said "it's only raining out there and feels mild, it won't be too bad"
We went to bed and awoke to the sound of cannons!
First one, then another, and then the realization that what we were hearing were trees cracking.
It never quit, all night.
We laid there until daybreak and looked out on a sight we
never imagined. Thick ice on EVERYTHING and downed trees everywhere.
And many limbs that started to tear loose but didn't, we call them
hangers, hanging from high up in the tree. All the next day and night we listened to this, which just added to the devastation we were seeing.
No way to remove them, and to this day you can still see many that have not let go.
Anyway, our driveway was 1/8 mile through the woods,
and it took the two of us 3 days to remove enough of the wood to be able to use it. That was only cutting and throwing aside, with the unhappy prospect of returning to actually clean up the mess at a later date.
Then we started on our end of a 4 mile gravel road, which others were likewise working on.
There was no point in calling for help as the damage was widespread and everyone was in the same mess. Every able bodied man who owned a chainsaw was out working from daylight to dark. First they cut themselves out, then they went to those who needed help the most, those who were sick or unable to cut themselves out!
Of course the electricity had left during the night so
now how to deal with food supplies became my concern.
Don't open the door to the freezer, cover it with a wool blanket, and wonder how long before power is back on.
When my daughter and her husband drove 3 miles along the ridge leading to our house, before turning around (still 6 miles from our house) because the higher you got the worse the damage and reported that EVERY power pole along the road was snapped off, we got an idea just how bad it was!
Eventually a neighbor said "they're saying 6 weeks". What a letdown that was!!
The good news was it warmed right up after the EVENT, which meant working outside wasn't too bad. The bad news was it warmed right up after the EVENT, so how could you saveyour frozen food? Not by putting it outside, like other times, not by bringing in pans of ice to make an ice chest.
Eventually we lost it all. Some other folks cooked and canned all theirs, but with the animal chores and the chainsaw chores ( my husband needed my help to throw all those limbs/trees he was cutting out of the road off the chicken pens, etc...) I couldn't do that.
Well the dogs got meat, and the chickens ate a lot of fruit and vegetables.
On day 20 I saw the electric truck go up the road to the last house on
our road. Then I saw him go back by. NOTHING. The next day I saw that
neighbor and asked him when they said it might be back on. He got the
strangest look on his face and said "we got it last night".
Well they had forgot us!!!! just drove right by.
Boy you can imagine how quickly a
phone call was made! ( We never lost our landline, which did help
a lot at least we didn't loose communication with the outside world! )
Anyway, 21 days of no power, of the house settling in to
darkness at 3 p.m. (we face north) of stumbling around with 3 kerosene
lanterns to barely light the way enough to do all household tasks. (I'll bet in the "old" days people didn't have house cats, especially 6! when they used kerosene, I was constantly watching them for fear they would knock one over!)
The coziness of the lamp light had long worn off, and we were ready to be re-electrified!
One of my great regrets is that with all the extra work (on top of an already full farm schedule!) I only took TWO pictures the whole time! And they were on ancient 35mm film, that is yet to be converted to digital!
Living so far from town and so high up we were out longer than some , but I know of other families that were out 20 days also, There isn't a person in our neck of the woods that doesn't have a story about THE ice storm of 2009, Some people even moved to town over it! (town was ONLY out of power for 10 days!)