Friday, March 7, 2008

Our adventure in Ice-Land

Remember that coating of ice I mentioned in my last post? Here's a pic of one of our dogwood trees, just beginning to bud, coated with ice.

The second pic (I always have trouble getting the text to line up with the pics) is the same tree the following day...after the full blown ice storm. The rest of the pics are from the same day (Wednesday). It's amazing how even chicken wire can be pretty when it's coated in ice. lol

Even the grass was frozen. Have you ever tried walking on grass that is coated in ice? I never knew I could ice skate on grass! lol

The ice caused a lot of damage, though. Trees and tree limbs were falling all night long. One tree limb took out our power lines...again. I know it's a price we pay for living in the woods, but it wasn't even our tree. The lines went down in the exact same spot last month, too.

So here I was, trying to get some housework done, when suddenly I am in the dark. Big Sis said she heard a crash, so I went outside to see if the line was down. All of our lines looked good, so I headed toward the property line. I get just a bit across the yard, when I see orange lights back in our neighbor's woods. I thought "wow, the power company sure got here fast", and then I realized it was fire! Lots of smoke, lots of sparks, and fire!

Shortly after I saw the fire, I realized I had been hearing a low, steady hummmmm. It's one of those sounds that doesn't really register at first, KWIM? It's the sound that electricity makes when it's not where it's supposed to be, I guess. At this point, I'm heading back into the house as fast as I can slide across the frozen yard. I should mention it was pouring freezing rain at the time, just to make my attempt to *rolls eyes*

I called the power company right away, assuming they'd want to get someone out here to turn the power off on the downed lines. Their operator was nice, but at the end of the conversation, I get the spiel that 'it may take a few hours' to get someone out here. Um, what part of 'sparks and fire' didn't seem important?

I checked on the fire (from the window...I wasn't about to go out there again) and it seemed to be going out, but then it would flare up again. So I called the number I had for the fire dept, and there was no answer. I tried twice, just in case I'd misdialed. Nope, no answer. At the fire department? Surreal, huh?

Little Sis came to the rescue with a new phone book and a different number. I was about to call when I heard sirens. Then I see lights at the bottom of our driveway. Um? Our drive is gated, so I guess the fire dept didn't know what to do after seeing the gate. They moved to the street (I could tell by the lights where they were..I can't see the street from here). I called the new number and told the dispatcher that if the firetruck was trying to get to the fire behind our house, they needed to go up the street and use another driveway. There's a ravine back there, and you can't get a truck back there from here. I told the dispatcher how to get to the fire and left a callback number. Then the fire truck left. As in drove away, back the way they came. Yeah..very surreal at this point. But, when I went to the other end of the house and looked out, the fire was out. I still don't know why they didn't even go back there and check it out. Maybe because of the live lines on the ground?

Shortly thereafter, the power company comes and shuts down the lines. Then they left. As in drove away. Without repairing the lines. I guess there were a lot of people without power due to the storm, and we were low priority. In fact, I think we were last priority. We finally got power back Thursday morning.

And now...I've spent the day catching up laundry, restocking the flush water, filling up drinking water containers, etc. Yesterday DH restocked the kerosene and gassed up the four wheel drive. It's a good thing, too, since now we are under a blizzard watch. *rolls eyes again*

To my friends in Cali: anyone have an empty guest room? I'm done with winter! ;)


jayedee said...

wow! what an adventure you had! and i've been complaining that the wind just peeled the roof from my chicken coop as neatly as if it had been a can of sardines! i live in florida and it's not even dadgum hurricane season! lol

City Mouse said...

Sorry you had such an electric adventure ... but those ice berries (buds?) are awfully cool! We're having a pretty awful rain and wind storm right now.

Country Wife said...

Jayedee, how warm is it there? Hope the chickens survived!

I used to live in Florida. I miss the ocean, but not those nasty palmetto bugs. *shiver*

City Mouse, thanks. lol Electric adventure..good one! Those are dogwood buds, and they were certainly cool (literally lol). I hope they survive the freeze.

Did you make it thru the storm ok?

City Mouse said...

A little water in the back door of the basement (and irritating humidity), but no drama really to speak of. The cheap plastic outside chairs blew around because I forgot they were out there, but that's about it. I heard some stories and things flying off roofs, but again, nothing major.

reVAMPed said...

Well I live in CA, and it's in the 70's here(sorry, not trying to rub it in, really...) and I may not have a "spare" room, but I got a trailer out back, c'mon down!

I LoVe the "look" of the frozen rain on trees, but I don't miss the mess it makes. I remember days I lived in Illinois and being without power from the heavy branches whackin' power lines. Too funny, about turning the lights on when it's out...sounds like something I'd do.

That shot of the frozen dogwood is BEAUTIFUL.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna "suck" that picture for my other blog: of course with credit to you.

Country Wife said...

Vamp, I don't mind at all, just send me some of that sunshine! ;)