Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Come the Icepocalypse

Where to begin? In the days leading up to last Tuesday, the forecast kept changing. We were going to get 2 inches of snow, then 4 to 6, and finally they settled on 5 to 10 inches. Tuesday dawned cold and cloudy, but no snow. We waited and waited, and by the time I went to bed, not too much had happened. The snow started overnight and kept falling well into Wednesday morning. But instead of a full 5 - 10 inches of snow, we got a lot (a lot) of ice, and then around 4 inches of snow on top. It was gorgeous, for certain:

Indy and I went out to play in the backyard once the sun was up. It felt like the kind of snow day we all wished for as kids. It was sunny, cold but not brutally so, and there was enough snow to romp around in. It was the third snowfall of Indy's young life, and the first significant accumulation. He had a fantastic time playing fetch and keep-away and chase. Later in the afternoon, after BoMB came over to hang out, Indy and I took a walk down the tree-lined boulevard near our house. It was equal parts magical and Armageddon-y. There were branches down all over the place, and icy patches everywhere that were dangerously slick. We had a pretty good time stomping around in the snow on the median, listening to ice falling from trees in the distance. I took a bunch of photos with BoMB's camera, but we lost power before I had a chance to transfer them to my computer, so I'll have to get those another time.

There are quite a few problems with ice, as you know if you're in an area that experiences ice storms. Snowplows can't scrape it up, for one thing. Lots of side streets never did get plowed, and our parking lot at work was so treacherous that we were closed for an unheard-of five days straight. Schools closed Tuesday and didn't reopen until Monday of this week. An estimated 40,000 people in the region were left without power when ice brought down power lines and tree branches that took out more power lines. Things actually got a little bit worse in the days after the storm, because it was warmish on Thursday. The top layer of snow melted and then refroze to solid ice that night.

These are from Wednesday afternoon (BoMB took the first one):

Here's what our street looked like on Friday morning, two days after the storm:

We watched the morning news on Wednesday and knew that tens of thousands of people were without power, but as the afternoon started to give way to evening, we figured we were in the clear. I had just finished uploading the first set of snow pics and thought, "We're lucky to have power," and zap. No more power. We scooted the couches over toward the fireplace and unearthed the box of candles we hadn't used since we moved. We hung out by candlelight and firelight, and MB dug out our camping cook pot and coffee pot to make hot chocolate and heat up canned chili. We made a passably comfortable bed on the floor with our sleeping bags and a bunch of extra blankets, BoMB slept on the loveseat, Indy (apparently the smart one in the family) had the couch to himself, and Kitters slept on top of BoMB.

The next morning, BoMB and I went out to get firewood, bread, milk, and hot dogs to cook over the fire, only to find that everyone was sold out of firewood and that the grocery store near us was running on backup generators and had lost all of their cold food when their power went out on Tuesday night. I went in to work for a few hours in the afternoon, since my department was in the middle of a big project that needed to be finished. By the time I left, we had made the decision to head to my parents' house if the power didn't come back on before I came home. Since Kitters does not get along with other cats, BoMB agreed to take care of him so we didn't have to sequester him away from my parents' cat Rusty. Indy was quite pleased to find that he'd be hanging out with his BFF Maggie full time.

Puppy slumber party, complete with popcorn! (it's Woofy Pop)

While it's never convenient to be out of your home, staying with my parents was actually quite enjoyable. With no internet or cable, I got through four books in the time we were away. I also followed through on a long-standing promise to my mother that I'd clear my boxes of stuff out of the attic (that's a blog post in itself, I suspect), since I now have an attic of my own in which to stow boxes of sentimental crap. We played a little bit of Wii, did some laundry, introduced my mom to some iPhone games, and generally had a really relaxing time. And yes, it did remind me of The Long Winter.

Reading:  Terrier by Tamora Pierce

Playing:  the Firefly soundtrack


  1. man that was a serious storm! ice makes everything complicated, especially when it snows on top of it. glad to hear things are getting back to normal!

  2. Glad your power is back!

  3. I know it's a pain in the butt, but you've gotten some stunning photos out of it! Ironically, we've had similar problems with our longgggg heat wave, but you don't get good photos out of it! Glad you're back up and running.