Thursday evening (3/6) a storm rolled through NC and made a sizeable deposit of sleet/freezing rain/snow and it continued well into Friday morning. As the temperature hovered around freezing the precipitation couldn't make up its mind whether to be freezing rain, sleet, slush or snow. If it had stayed ice we may have come out of it ok. But it covered everything with ice and then became slushy and thus...heavy. My pics below show the smaller trees on our property bent over from the weight. To add insult to injury it got very windy. Bad. That was very bad. The top heavy trees started swaying and the damage began.
We live in the woods. We could hear branches, whole limbs and trees snapping and falling around the house and out in the woods. We were lucky that none fell on the house. Others around the area weren't so lucky. I'll get back to that.
So, from around 7:30 am the power would flick on then off. It did this several times until 10:28am when it went out for good. We waited it out at home since we were pretty well prepared with water in jugs and in the tub for flushing the toilets. Since we hadn't gone grocery shopping (if there had been no bad weather we would have gone that morning) we were low on some food and we had no ice in bags, but otherwise we were in decent shape. We did decide to go out that early evening to get some fast food and that's when we realized how bad it was.
On our road several trees had come down, but the neighbors had cut them up and cleared the road. At the end of our road we saw two trees on the power line. Ah, there was the problem for our road. As we strayed further afield we saw damage everywhere with trees down, limbs broken off and trees actually uprooted from a combination of the accumulated weight of the precipitation, being top heavy, a shallow root system and very wet ground. And no one had power. We couldn't find one fast food place open no matter where we tried. Some of the major restaurants like Olive Garden were open, but they must have been on a generator and they were packed. So we came home and warmed some food up on the grill.
Saturday dawns and we turn off the kerosene heater and blow out the candles. We gather what meat that will fit and take it to my stepdaughter's place. She had a little room for it in her freezer and she had power. Plus, she had water, so we filled up the water jugs, left the kids to fight over who got to hold Kyleigh (their new niece) and get an Xbox fix while hubby & I went on a scavenger hunt for more D batteries, candles and kerosene. We had enough for a few days, but more is better, right? Most importantly we needed bags of ice for the coolers and to stick in the chest freezer. When we get to the end of road we see an orange flag taped to the telephone pole. We've been flagged! Progress! Yay!
We did find everything we needed though it took some time. And most importantly we found an open McDonalds. Yes, we had a grill at home, but fast and hot food was heaven at 4pm. Then we went home to fill the coolers with what we could save from the two refrigerators and the freezer. We did pretty good. We didn't lose a whole lot thanks in part to not being able to go grocery shopping. I did save all the cheese because that shit's expensive! Putting ice bags in the freezer as well as stuffing a heavy duty planket in there (thanks mom for that tip!) and then covering it with more blankets helped quite a bit. Though we lost the ice cream. Noooooooooo!!!! The horror!! In addition, we ran out of water in the bathtub, so we took a 5-gallon bucket, filled it from the spring-fed creek out back, pulled it in thru the bedroom window and filled the tub in the master bathroom with it. Took about 3 trips, but we were good for the night. Did I mention it got up to about 68º and it was sunny? Stupid weather. At least it was warm out and we didn't need the heater during the day.
Sunday dawns, still no power. As we head out to see if Biscuitville is open the Asplundh guys are at the end of our road to clear off the trees. Yay! All the restaurants were packed, but we hit one right at a small lull, we got food to go with only a small wait and went home to enjoy our bounty. The Asplundh guys are still there, but now a small Duke Energy truck has joined them and the power lines have an orange DO NOT ENERGIZE on them. Yeah, that would be bad for the tree guys. It's about 70º and sunny again, so after we eat we head out to clear up the storm damage and fill the tub up yet again. Shitloads of small branches get picked up, some split trees interfering with the drive are taken care of and the gravel drive gets fixed. We traipse into the house at about 2:20 and POW the ceiling light comes on, the surround sound bass does its boom thing and the microwave beeps. We have the power! There was much rejoicing! Toilet flushing and showers abounded! And then the clean up began.
I spent the rest of Sunday cleaning out the freezer and refrigerators. Throwing out what needed pitching and then washing them. At least they are all sparkly now. We had pancakes for dinner and then I collapsed into bed exhausted.
Monday was spent doing errands, picking up some groceries and our meat from April's house then more cleaning, emptying the coolers and laundry, laundry and more laundry. We had breakfast for dinner and all is right with our world.
I'll spend today getting caught up online (if you sent me an email I'm getting to it), doing more laundry, a little more cleaning and reading on my now charged Kindle Fire.
Electricity...I love you! I'd kiss you if I didn't know it would kill me.