An ice storm in the South is a major event. No, we do not do snow well (as evidenced by the catastrophe in Atlanta two weeks ago) and we might be equipped for surviving ice storms even less so. Even though the local tree companies have worked diligently through the spring and summer months butchering trimming trees away from power lines, an ice storm in the South can be a crippling event. We were definitely not happy to see this weather map…
We dread snow or ice storms; yet, instead of becoming completely paralyzed, we laugh and prepare with massive runs at the grocery store for milk and bread and toilet paper. Milk and bread runs have become a source of humor complete with their own set of memes and cartoons and a YouTube Video by New Jersey Comedian, Vic Dibitetto.
A light drizzle with a little bit of sleet Tuesday night turned into an entirely different landscape by Wednesday morning. A quarter inch of pure clear ice coated trees, bushes, and power lines. Icicles hung from the eaves. Trees stood with ice laden branches which began to dip lower and lower as the sleet continued through the morning. The sound of the cracks and thuds of falling tree limbs coupled with the whines and moans of straining transformers filled the air and continued throughout the day.
It seemed as though each fallen limb brought with it a new issue – for us it was a limb that fell, damaging the roof and pulling the cable and electric wires off the side of the house. While the cable line was not salvageable, we moved the limb and used a pool cleaning extension pole to prop the fallen electric wire up off the car and the ground as it sagged across the street.
We are just not accustomed to these sorts of things down here in the South. All flights in and out of local airports have been cancelled for two days. The power flickered on and off all day causing me much anxiety because it went out three times while I was writing (thanks goodness for Word recover). We discovered that for some reason Goldie, the family dog who loves the snow, refuses to go potty on ice. The day has been spent going outside to deal with fallen limbs and crunch around on the ice followed by coming back in feeling frostbitten. But looking on the bright side, I was able to test out my snow boots which had been repaired after wearing them in last January in Paris’ snow event, take some great pictures, make a huge pot of winter soup, help the neighbors pull limbs off fences and heating units, and knock out a couple of blog posts.
And no, we don’t do ice and snow well in the South. Over 245,000 people are without power tonight in South Carolina and Georgia with 20,000 of those people in our immediate area. More fortunate than many, we still have our power… for now.
We may get criticized and teased by seasoned Northerners who face mountains of snow measured in feet instead of inches, but don’t say we Southerners can’t survive an icemageddon. We can do without cable television for a while… burn wood or dust off the kerosene heater if we need to… the Waffle Houses are open and feeding those without power…and whether we are helping a neighbor…or propping up a limb, we Southerners survive quite well.