Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fatal Beauty

Yesterday's ice storm was beautiful. Everything is encased in a coating of silvery ice and even a prosaic chain link fence glitters with a dressing of diamonds.

The aftermath is more heartbreaking. In a village like ours, most of the hardwood trees are the size of houses, at least 60 years old, and highly susceptible to ice damage.

The beautiful maple across the street has lost two large branches and our next-door neighbor’s backyard shade tree snapped off about three feet from the ground, as did the apple tree next to my BIL/SIL’s house.

These last two are not small, each had a trunk at least six inches in diameter. Fortunately, the schools were closed, because the spousal unit was out all morning with his chainsaw helping clear away the debris.

We lost only two minor branches from the maple in the side yard but nearly everyone in town has tree damage. We were without internet access for thirty-six hours but without power for only twelve. I stayed in bed with the Drama Queen as both of us are smart enough to know where the warmest place in the house is. SU went through two pairs of snow boots.

Fortunately the temperature never dropped below 35F/1C. Had it gotten much colder I think the mayor would have opened a warming shelter in the high school gym. Like every little town we have a wrong side of the tracks. In our case its a trailer park on the south side, near the river, and babies/toddlers who live there would have needed someplace warm to sleep if we hadn’t gotten power back that afternoon.

We are normally at daggers drawn with the local utility company (their tree-removal policies are draconian) but when a freezing rain is falling and the road is a skating rink and there’s some guy or gal fifteen feet up a power pole restoring the circuits, I have to take off my hat to them.

The temperature is dropping (from 35F/1C an hour ago, it is now 29F/-1C and the wind is picking up; the spousal unit predicts we’ll lose power again before midnight.


GDad said...

There was one of these storms the day before my late grandfather's funeral four years ago. They cancelled the viewing, and the funeral was a bit slapdash, mostly because of the change in plans. However, he did get his military salute for his naval service, and the family made it. Those ice storms still remind me of that day with startling clarity.

Posh And Trendy Living Frugal said...

Ice storms can be beautiful but they definately can be deadly too.. I was hoping you wouldn't get pounded but it looks like you got it bad.
Sending prayers your way that you don't lose your power again. Take care and stay safe.

Janice in GA said...

The last ice storm we had here resulted in a hole in our kitchen ceiling from a pine branch arrowing in. Pines have a TERRIBLE time with ice and snow.

We were walking around the neighborhood when the damaging branch fell. You could hear pine branches cracking and falling everywhere.

On the bright side, there aren't many whole trees that come down.

I don't like ice storms.

Rochelle R. said...

Glad your power wasn't out any longer. The ice photos are lovely but that sure is alot of damage. I am glad I live in a warm climate. Out here we moan and groan about the cold if it is in the low 50's.

Anonymous said...

SOrry to hear about the tree damage. We lost a 60 yr maple in the front yard due to the power company's slash & burn style of tree trimming. Here in CT is it 30 degrees out. How amazing that the males of the world can't see the wisdom of a cosy nap with a cat....

Shay said...

The SU is always going in for manly muscular uncomfortable activities. I blame his unfortunate ancestry (German and Scotch-Irish).

T-Mom said...

I am WAY behind in my blog-reading, but your street looks like my street. They're supposed to collect the downed tree limbs here, but so far--3 weeks later is it?--the streets are still lined with piles of tree limbs. I'm glad you weren't without power for long!