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?