February 28, 2007 – Storm Aftermath

Today gave us a chance to catch our breath before the next storm approaches. I was able to walk around a bit more and check out some of the damage I haven’t shared yet.

This is one of the white pines we planted about 7 years ago, snapped in half.  At least the goats will enjoy the browse.

We lost two peach trees that split down the middle – this one was due for a big harvest this year.

one year ago…

February 27, 2007 – Storm Day 5

Today was Day 5 of the Storm. Still no electricity for us and about 80,000 others, three days after it blinked off. Following are some pictures from 2 miles due east of our farm. 

I wonder what it looked/sounded like when all these poles snapped!

Some of the poles are artistically pleasing. Driving around is much like surveying tornado damage, except the damage is much more widespread. 

Three days later, the crews still haven’t even been able to make the roads passable because of downed poles and wires, let alone put new poles up.

Unexpectedly, our power went on at about 7 pm today, about 80 hours after it went off!

An ominous forecast calls for two more days of ice and snow Wednesday/Thursday/into Friday along with 45 mph gusts. 
one year ago…

February 26, 2007 – Storm Day 4

Today was Day 4 of the Storm. The day dawned cool and clear.

Some of the ice started to melt.

More of it clung stubbornly to the surfaces, like the ice to the hinge of this barn door.

I’m eager to start getting the mess cleaned up, but so many of the branches are encrusted in ice and snow, so I’ll wait until things melt a bit.  No more worries about enough wood for the solstice fires next December!

A partially melted growing tip of Emma’s Bur Oak.

The roads were good enough to get out today, so we went to Ames to shower. A two-mile stretch between Melbourne and Hwy 30 had a stretch of about a mile and half where all the power poles were snapped. In addition, we needed a break from dark cooking and clean-up so we went to town for dinner.

Still no power.
Reading by lamplight and candlelight. Thanks to GJ, we have a great selection of clean-burning beeswax candles!
Without electricity the corn stove doesn’t work (blowers and fans), so Martin and Linda get snuggle time.one year ago… 

February 25, 2007 – Storm Day 3

Today was Day 3 of the Storm. The big snow that was supposed to hit us fizzled out in favor of rain.  At about 4 am I awoke and heard dripping and went outside and found it was raining again, which meant more ice.

Here’s the east-facing dormer with its mantle of ice.

This utility truck thought it would be ok to turn around in the field and got mired in the mud under the ice/snow.  He didn’t seem too eager to accept any help and after about an hour of lifting himself up with the leveling pads and putting chains on, was able to crawl out.  Funny thing was, it wasn’t even the utility responsible for the lines on this road.

In the morning the battery-powered CO detector buzzed, so we all went outside. The generator must have been too close to the house, so I got another cord and moved it further away.  In the meantime it had warmed to above freezing and the wind stopped, so it was great snowman weather. We dragged the limbs away that had blocked the garage with the tractor and surveyed damage.

The ice on the east sides of buildings was very thick!  We even lost water pressure for a while – that was a bit unnerving to have no power and the threat of no water as well, but that was fixed in a few hours.  In the evening, for the first time since the storm hit, we saw lights on the horizon!

one year ago…

February 24, 2007 – Storm Day 2

Today was Day 2 of the Storm. The night brought a nice layer of ice to the world.

It also brought a sick child. Emma finished her strep meds three days earlier, Claire was infected about 6 days ago and Emma woke up again this morning with another case. Of course it is Saturday in the beginning of the storm – we called and took her into the Dr. as who knows how long we may be stuck on the farm.

It warmed up briefly and turned to all rain, so there was a layer of water on top of the ice when we had to drive to town, which seemed to make it less slippery than straight ice. We took gravel roads nearly all the way to town, got the diagnosis, and the drugs and she recovered nicely.

Meanwhile the rain continued. I knew it was only a matter of time before the power went out – we warmed the house up to 72 degrees and waited. 

The ice kept getting thicker.

We started to worry about our fruit trees.

We kept worrying

Here’s the trellis for the raspberries.

The power went out at noon and shortly before dark, I dragged the camping generator out of the garage and after sitting fro two years, it started on the 2nd pull (yeah!)  The generator can run one big thing at a time – the furnace, one of the freezers or the fridge.  It runs for a half hour on a fill of gas, so it’s lots of babysitting.

About 4:00 the rain turned to snow and I went out into the shed and found the bottom of the sliding doors were under water.  I knew in a few hours, the doors would be frozen solid into the ground and I wouldn’t be able to open them for a long time – so the lesser of two evils was to leave the doors open during the storm so I could get the tractor out.

We had an old-fashioned evening listening to the Prairie Home Companion.  We were able to cook as we have a gas cooktop, but no hot water.

one year ago…