Our lights went out Friday night at 8:30 pm. We really didn’t think much about it because we were getting a little freezing rain and drizzle. So we talked with our two small battery powered lanterns lighting our TV room for a little while. When the lights were still out an hour later we decided to go to sleep early. We figured the lights would come back on in a few hours. Nothing to worry about.
We were wrong about the electricity and we were wrong about the amount of ice falling out of the sky. Just before midnight we were awakened by the loud crashing and banging sound. Our dogs barked crazily. It sounded like the sky had fallen or a train ran through our roof. Chris got up and looked out the dark windows and saw nothing unusual outside.
Twenty minutes later we heard more crashing sounds. The ice was falling out of the sky and onto the roof and trees so fast it was creating sliding, roaring avalanches of frozen water. The sound was terrifying.
We had been in ice storms before, but nothing even approaching this magnitude. It was ferocious and unrelenting.
I held both our pugs in my lap, trying to keep them calmer. The crashing ice kept coming every half hour as the accumulation was too great for the slope of the roof. Crack! It would snap. Crash! It would hit the ground and shatter into hundreds of pieces the size of a fist. The sound was louder and more frightening as the night went on, hour after hour.
There was one time we literally felt our house shake. It was the loudest crash yet. I held onto the pugs as tightly as I could and both Chris and I stayed frozen and just hoping our house would stay together. Chris got up to make sure nothing had come through the roof or the walls. It was a new moon night, and that combined with thick storm clouds and no street lights made it impossible to see what had really happened.
Finally dawn started to lighten the dark sky.
We were able to start to see things in our yard. There were large ice cubes from the crushing slabs of ice that fell all night long all over our yard. The huge crash we heard was a portion of our neighbor’s maple tree falling and crashing down onto our deck and yard. The top part of the tree had broken broke apart on our roof.
If that part of the tree had come down at a different angle it would have broken through our dining room sliding glass doors and caused tons of damage. We consider ourselves very lucky.
Chris has been calling this an ice tornado because of the ferocity of the storm. When we went out on our deck today we could see that part of the branch had been driven into our patio table with such energy that it bent the metal and is wedged in tightly now. Maybe the idea of an ice tornado wasn’t that much of an exaggeration.
The terror of the night diminished, only to be replaced with the news that we could be without power for two or three days. We needed to keep warm since the temperature outside was hovering around freezing. We have a wood stove that we don’t use often, but only a limited amount of wood. We carefully estimated how much wood we had, how quickly it would burn and rationed it out. We had a small fire in the morning to take the chill off, then a bigger one starting a bit before sunset that we left going when we went to bed. We were still pretty cold during the day but we stayed bundled up.
We were able to sleep Saturday night because it was silent, blessedly silent. Unnaturally silent because we didn’t hear cars going by or train horns off in the distance, or even the hum of the refrigerator.
We didn’t have any little glowing lights from the modem or the computers, no light from the television, or from the street laps. It was pitch black, again.
We were hopeful that we’d have power on Saturday, but that was not to be. I sawed a long log into smaller pieces to fit into the wood stove. Chris boiled tea water and made grilled cheese sandwiches on top of the wood stove. It was so delicious. We had been living on cheese crackers and protein bars. We were getting dehydrated, too, because the water was freezing cold, We didn’t want to drink it and make ourselves colder, nor were we willing to crawl out of our cocoons to go to the bathroom. How do those people climbing Everest do it?
Sunday dawned without power. All we had were the sound of the chain saws as crews tried to remove the fallen trees from the roads. Our Apple watches had run out of power so we didn’t know what time it was. Not that it would have meant anything to us anyway. We were saving our phone batteries in case we needed to call for help. Time ceased to exist. That was a strange feeling.
We finally had power by Monday, so we went out for a drive to see what the world looked like. We couldn’t believe the extent of the damage. The redwoods and the Douglas firs fared pretty well because their branches sweep downward. The leafless deciduous trees took the biggest beating because their branches reach up. I’m just glad they weren’t leafed out at this time of the year, or we wouldn’t have any trees standing.
Every gas (petrol) station had lines out to the street as people waited to fill up their cans for their chainsaws and backup generators.
Since the town was out of power for three days, a lot of food was going bad already. Cars were lined up out into the street at any fast food place that was open.
We drove by a super market and we could see bare shelves. No deliveries for three days makes a difference in how full store shelves are. I guessing panicking people had gone down the aisles like a swarm of locusts, too.
Today we have blue skies, green grass, and daffodils starting to bloom. If it weren’t for the piles of logs and branches lined up along the roads, you wouldn’t know anything had ever happened.
I’ve gathered a list of challenges and their hosts. So if you know a challenge host, please direct them to my blog. Feel free to contact me anytime. I hope everyone will be able to use my lists.
Qi (energy) hugs