Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice Storm 2008 – Part 2/The Morning After

The view from our road in E. Taghkanic

It’s the morning after the ice-storm and John, myself and our wonder kitten Mido are shell shocked. And cold. We look out the window to see the carnage. We can’t believe this is for real and we can’t believe that the trees fell the way they did, managing to avoid the house for the most part (one tiny section of the roof was struck). The angels were looking out for us, we remind ourselves, we could’ve been flattened.

With two trees and a lot of debris across the driveway, John took a walk to the end of the drive to see what else he might ascertain – finding that we wouldn’t be able to get to the main road (Rt. 27) until at least one (that we could see, three in total) trees were removed from blocking the road.(See picture above).

So we took a walk in the other direction.

Me, trying to smile. Having a tough time with it.

Note the fallen trees in our drive and the tree leaning against the house.

Alone in the middle of the street, to the left and right of us, the limbs continued to fall, with the sound of ice crashing around us. It’s an eerie and sad sound. It's truly the sound of live trees wailing and sobbing to their death.

Reaching another tree across the road, we knew we were lodged in – realizing that we better make ourselves comfortable in our home. Somehow, we had to get the gas fireplace going. But continuing to walk to see what other obstacles we might find, we saw a figure up ahead walking our way. If ever there is an image in my mind of what a post-apocalyptic world might look like, this was it.

‘Bob’ met us halfway and let us know that there were probably another five or six trees blocking the road that would take us to the Taconic State Parkway. We walked back with him as he headed over to the farm where he needed to feed his horses. “They’ll be in a mood,” he said. Indeed.

John worked with the folks at the fireplace company to get the heat going, and then we waited. For help. For information. For light. For heat. For something.

About 10 p.m. a State Trooper and folks with National Grid came by to cut open the road. Someone nearby had a medical emergency – they needed out.

As we settled in, we decided to draft a list (our complete) version here, of Things You Want to Have on Hand When "The Storm" Hits:

The List:

  • Flashlights, lanterns, extra batteries.
  • Warm blankets and thermal gear (base layers and socks especially). A warm hat.
  • A radio for updates on the situation.
  • Chain saw - not the electric kind.
  • Canned goods (and a hand cranked can opener) and an eating strategy to get through your food items as they thaw.
  • Matches to light flames if you’re lucky enough to have a gas stove or grill.
  • Purell or anti-bacterial wipes (to use on hands after using the bathroom).
  • Baby wipes – if a shower seems like an unlikely luxury, these will make you feel at least half human.
  • A back-up battery-charged power strip to charge cell phones, play radios, etc.
  • A Petzel head-lamp to make reading, cooking...everything easier by dark.
  • If you’re dependent on landline phone service, make sure you have a cheap, non-cordless phone on hand. Cordless lines don’t work when the power is out.
  • Also, remember, if you think things might get bad, fill up the bathtub with water so that you can flush your toilet when the power goes out.

We’ll devote a whole post to generators. We realize now we need one if we want to be able to protect our home should something similar happen in the future.

Above: The icy Valley. Below: Same Valley this Fall.

1 comment:

BoSacks said...

I'm glad you are ok. The picture is a very telling document of what happened. Just a few miles away in Copake we got rain instead of ice. It was the elevation that made the difference. 50 feet was all it took to go from rain to ice. From flooding to downed trees and power lines.