Friday, April 12, 2013

The Abominable Ice Storm/Treepocalypse

The past few days have been somewhat surreal, in my opinion.

South Dakota has been smacked with a strange winter storm. It's like one I do not remember experiencing and it seems to have wreaked more havoc on the city than any storm I've experienced.

To make it even more absurd... I don't think it really even felt like a winter storm.

Normally, when I hear or experience a winter storm, I think blizzard. Lots if snow and high winds and sub-zero temps, and white out conditions.

This ice storm, in my limited experience (as in from inside the house), was more like a gentle rain.

Except it seemed to freeze as soon as it hit anything.

So... Every little inch of world seemed to be encased in inches of ice by Wednesday, which was pretty, but kind of creepy. You would go out and look around the neighborhood to see tons of trees had lost branches the size of small trees. This was in every yard as far as I could see.

I actually watched a tree branch fall a split second after a moving car passed under it. Nearly hit it in motion.

I watched three branches fall in neighbor yards, and watched one snap from our tree and land on the suburban. Thankfully, the beast, 'Burbie, is tough and nothing happened to it really.

As all this happened, power was going out all over town. When I called this morning to hear the update, 420 workers from four states were here trying to repair damage and restore power, and approximately 90,000 had been affected. Though, they are down to about 15,000 only (haha) being without power now.

Unfortunately, sometime before I woke yesterday morning, our house had joined the ranks of the power-less. We held out until about 3pm when it was 59 degrees and Jake had to work. Then, bless her heart, Jenn welcomed us all into her family's home.

The storm has ripped the power line away from the back of our house though. It's still connected, but dangling. So, when I called in yesterday to report the loss of power and the dangling line, they said they'd send someone to check it out. At that point they were hoping power would be restored at 11pm last night. Unfortunately, that was not the case for us.

Not only that, but we were told our house is a big fire risk with the line as-is and not to be there until they've repaired it. They said they would try to have that done by noon today.

That still doesn't mean the power will be on. This morning's automated update from the electric company states they hope to have it restored by tonight but will still be working on individual problems through tomorrow.

We are fortunate, really, for a few reasons. The first in that we held out until Thursday to lose our power. The second, that while there was power in the dangling line, our house didn't burst into flames. Third, no huge branches have fallen onto our house at this point, and I'm hoping it remains that way. And fourth, that we had a few options as to warm homes, and even though Jenn is incredibly busy working (she is a WAHM for Butterfly Designs- search it up on Facebook- she's amazing), that she opened up her home to us yesterday, not really knowing how long we might end up being without power, has helped provide food and drink for me and the boys because we didn't being ours not knowing we would be here this long, and for giving us a warm place to sleep last night, and still be yet this morning. We are incredibly thankful.

I'm hoping to be back home by tonight. Not that I don't love Jenn and her family, but it's always hard being away from home unexpectedly, and I think everyone is feeling that way a little bit, and I know that it's equally hard having people crash your home unexpectedly, too. Thank God for patience, grace, compassion, and understanding, right?

Here are a few photos from around my house/neighbors from Wednesday and Thursday. I've seen more on Instagram and Facebook also. When we drove over here yesterday, it was so... surreal, to see trees down everywhere, or huge trees broken in half right down the center with half standing and half laying down, and others bent over looking like giant umbrellas. I told Jake that I've never seen such sad looking trees.

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