Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ice Storm aftermath

It's a beautiful day today, they say it might hit 61*.  We are still digging out from the ice storm, there are still folks without electricity more than 10 days after the storm hit.  We lost power twice for a day or so but were some of the lucky ones.  We have chain saw massacred the fallen limbs and made big piles of such for the city to pick up.  We still have 2-3 inches of hard, slippery ice to navigate anywhere you want to walk.  The roads are clear but the sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, etc all have very treacherous spots.

My office was closed for almost a full work week, although I went in several days to kind of be around if needed and make some calls canceling trainings, groups, etc.  The schools were closed for a week and went back with some schools still operating on generators.  These kids have so many snow/disaster days to make up that they will be in school until mid June!

We had Dancing Baby Girl and Imiki for a weekend as Lani and Pawpaw lost power in their trailer and they had to evacuate to a friend's house.  They  had no power either but had a fireplace, but the situation made Imiki ill with asthma and bronchitis so we took the two kids.  Lani and Pawpaw spent that weekend thawing pipes and cleaning up after one pipe rupture.  Still everyone fared pretty well.

I know some of you northern folks might scoff at how we can't even handle a little snow and ice, but let me tell you when the ice is thick enough and heavy enough to crumple the tall steel transformer towers that carry the trunk lines, that is a problem.  It wasn't just random branches falling on lines, it was entire transformer towers crumpling right over and taking the lines with them.  There are still over 100,000 customers in the more rural areas that do not have power more than 10 days after the storm.  

Since this is the second power disaster in less than 5 months for our area (the first was the windstorms with Hurricane Ike) many folks are questioning why the power lines are not underground or otherwise better protected.  I have joined a Facebook group called "bury the damn power lines already" that is engaged in an awesome civic discussion of the pros and cons of such a venture.  Good grassroots debate.

Although I am a winter person I will be glad to see the last of the ice.  Snow is good, I like to sled, cross country ski, make snowfolk and snow angels, but this ice is nasty.  

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