Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ice In, Lights Out

The third significant winter storm in as many weeks here in the North Carolina Piedmont, this one resulting in over 400,000 people in the area losing power, over 100,000 of whom have yet to have it restored. It's been many years since I've seen so much damage from ice in this area. My electricity was out from early Friday morning until the middle of the evening last night (Saturday), and I was clearly one of the lucky ones; Duke Power is anticipating it taking until Wednesday or Thursday to get all power in the region back on. In only a few hours, over four inches of heavy slush accumulated at my place, and I knew it was going to be a rough one when I could hear trees cracking and falling with such regularity it sounded like a gunfight outside. I took the picture at left a few seconds after a pair of tall pines — from that bunch in the distance in the center of the photo — came crashing down (unfortunately, the zoom on my phone camera makes the image rather blurry, but you can click on the photos to enlarge them). I did lose one medium-size cedar at the corner of my house, which can be seen in the first photo below. That first day, I was pretty well stuck in my house, since I couldn't have gotten the car out of the driveway if I had wanted to (not that I wanted to). Once I got out yesterday, I got a first-hand look at how much damage there was. In places, there were still more power lines down than remaining up, and several roads were closed because of trees falling across them.

On the positive side, even though I had not intentionally stocked up on supplies before this storm, I had plenty of food, cats for warmth, and martini fixings to keep my spirits up. I rather enjoyed cooking breakfast and making coffee on the grill out on the front porch yesterday morning; it was just like camping out, only not. Since we missed work on Friday, Brugger decided to go into the office yesterday, so I went in as well and got some writing done on my current short story, which fits firmly into Robert W. Chambers' King in Yellow mythos.

Mess with Mother Nature, and she'll whomp you a good one, that's for sure. Stay warm, peoples.

But lord, I hate the onset of Daylight Saving Time....

Those low shrubs to the left aren't low shrubs; those ordinarily stand about 12 feet tall.
The cedar on the corner was uprooted, and I had to take it down completely today.
On Willowlake Road in Guilford County yesterday evening. There weren't many
power lines left intact along this stretch of road.
Another shot along Willowlake Road. That big tree is cracked about halfway up and
leans out over the road. I'd hate to be underneath it when it falls.

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