Iced Memories

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two years ago, Northeast Arkansas was under siege by Mother Nature, and she was raging. None of us could even imagine the amount of ice that we would get. When the weatherman forecast several inches of ice, I just blew him off. No way it could be that bad. Not possible. It was that bad.

First we got ice. Then we got more ice. Then we got more ice. I work about 35 miles Southeast of where I live, and it got started at home while we were still at work. I will never forget driving by my friends house and being so disoriented. I did not even know we were right in front of her house because everything looked so bad. She had 3 trees down. The street was covered in broken trees or limbs down. Part of the town had already lost power, but not on my end of town.

I came home and just barely got logged onto the Internet when the phone & Internet went down. I got me something ready to eat before the lights went out, as the freezing rain continued.

I rather enjoyed that first night. I had plenty of candles and something good to read. I put on my flannel gown and piled a whole bunch of blankets on my in the recliner. Since it was pretty certain work was out the next day, I had a few beers and relaxed. I guess I was in denial because I felt certain that the power would come back on before daylight. I thought, well, I will just stay here where it is already warm until the lights come back on.

I don't know what time it was, but up in the wee hours I woke up to my chair vibrating, and a noise that sounded like the whole earth was moaning. An ice storm was not enough for one night. We also had a very small earthquake. I sat and listened to the sounds of the night for hours. There is a wooded area one house down from me and a wooded park behind the houses right behind me. The sound of ice breaking the trees went on all night. Sometimes it was just popping of the limbs as they snapped. The popping was accentuated by the occasional loud groan of a huge tree being ripped apart by the force of the ice.

Even after I listened all night, I was shocked when I emerged from my cocoon the next morning. There was not a tree anywhere that had a top left. Highline wires draped the neighborhood like casually tossed Mardi Gras beads. People were standing in their driveways looking around with gaping mouths as if they were left behind after the Rapture.

In addition to the broken trees, we lost THOUSANDS of electricity poles.

I was one of the lucky ones. I only had to wait 12 days for electricity and 15 days for a phone/Internet. Some people did not have electricity for 25 days! An army of linemen came in from all over the country to help us recover from the devastation.

As horrific as the damage was, the iced trees under the bright sun on the day after were breathtaking. How can something that causes that much damage look like a work of art?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Man do I remember that, I was out for almost two weeks, and it was sooo cold, we had no heat from anywhere, just our candels! I'm glad I liked candels cause I was stocked up on them and we used them all! I am now fully stocked again just in case! I know my husband worked the whole month of february helping people cut their trees, he works for disaster relief and he was gone the whole month.
    3730 days ago
    Ice storms are horrid. The beauty of the ice if far offset by the damage in my opinion.
    3733 days ago
    i remember we drove all the way to memphis to find a hotel because DH was worried about me being to cold, my boss called me the next morning and wanted me to come to work, cepot for 1 thing , i was lucky it was my day off..we waited 3 very LONG days for our electricity to come back, we were coming back from memphis and as we approached the house we sawe the porch light on and was very very happy.NOW anytime i hear the word freezing and rain in a sentence together it makes me VERY nercous.
    3734 days ago
    I can't imagine being in weather like that! I really like all your pictures. The ice is just amazing.
    3737 days ago
  • JLWOF1
    I think we went 8 or 9 days without electricity when that ice storm hit. Your photos are beautiful. I, too, remember listening to all of the trees cracking under the pressure of the ice. What's amazing to us is how the trees in our yard have come back from the storm so fast. You can't even tell that many of them lost their complete tops. Mother nature is truly amazing. And that's one amazing feat I hope I never have to experience again!
    3737 days ago
  • CALGAL10831
    What you had looks major by the pictures. We have ice storms, usually at least once a year. So far this year it was nothing like what you experienced. Ours just left the roads (and driveways) a sheet of ice. Although it is difficult to drive or walk on, you just get used to it. But you are right the trees are beautiful when the sun shines on the ice. Glad to hear you made it through your storm in good health. But 15 days without electric is certainly a difficult time and not something to be taken lightly. Thanks for sharing this photos they really help tell the story.
    3737 days ago
    You're so right. Mother Nature is beautiful even at her most destructive. I live near the coast in New England and the North Atlantic can look like the most beautiful painting, or like your worst nightmare come to life when a hurricane or nor'easter comes barreling down on you. But either way, Mother Nature is amazing!
    3737 days ago
    I live in Nashville, TN. We tend to get ice storms every so many years. We are due one now. So far all we are getting is snow storms. Which I am very thankful for. The ice you can't drive in it. You can't build snowmen or have a snowball fight. Its good nothing but trouble and taking beauiful pictures. LOL Hoping we don't have another one for a very long time but the odds are agaisnt us here.
    3737 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5217955
    Couldn't deal. I love my sunny California. You would do good out here.
    3738 days ago
    It is all part of Morther Nature. We live in NE Florida and I love to be by the water when a northeaster blows in but do not want to be around anywhere close when a hurricane is coming our way. The photos are great. I enjoyed your description of how you felt during this time. I hope that will be the only time you have to endure this type of storm
    3738 days ago
    Ice is fascinating, isn't it? I love the picture of the wires with rows of icicles hanging off them.
    3738 days ago
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