I feel so much more fortunate than the folks in the northeastern United States who are digging out from under the massive amounts of snow they've received for the last couple of days. While I can empathize, we still have our problems here in my area of North Carolina.
Around 20,000 people in my area are without power, and my own power has gone out twice already this morning. Its all because of a steady rain for two days straight, mixed in with some sleet and spitting snow flurries. Of course, with the ice accumulations comes downed trees and powers lines. Police, EMS, highway crews and power officials are running emergency calls everywhere -- prioritizing the calls by importance.
The ground here is saturated because of two big snow storms, a rain storm with flooding, and now an ice storm. The wind just has to blow a little bit and down come the trees. And then the ice makes the trees brittle and the ones that don't fall just snap. Same thing with utility poles. They're snapping like twigs.
Here's some of what I found this morning near my house.
I just happened to ride up on this while running errands. This pole was lying across a very busy residential street near the citys high school, Elk's Lodge and a swim club. An elderly man had his vehicle parked to keep people from running through the power lines in the street. He told me he had been blocking traffic for 30-minutes and no one had showed up to take care of it.
Same pole, different angle. By the time I got home to get my camera and return, city crews had blocked the street with cones. While I was talking to the elderly man blocking the street, he told me that all the utility poles on the street were cracked, but they were still standing for some reason. Whether he knew what he was talking about, I don't know.
I'm surprised that more of these pine trees didn't fall. This is the entrance to one of the city's more popular summer attractions, the Reidsville Swim Club, and as you can see these trees blocked up the entrance. There may have been more below them, I just didn't want to walk down there to see. The club is directly across the street from the Elk's Lodge where the utility pole snapped in half.
A little closer shot with a better view of the trees at the Swim Club. The county Sheriff, who is a good friend and former co-worker, told me that between 1 o'clock and 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon, they had over 100 trees down across the area, many of them across highways and power lines. That didn't even include what was happening in the cities and towns. And there's no telling how many more there's been since in the last 24-hours, It looks like the clean-up could take weeks instead of days.
So there you have it. That's just a taste of the ice storm that followed on the heels of all the snow and rain we've had here lately. I'm trying to stay positive about all this precipitation and hope that it will make the plant life stronger in the spring and summer. But I have to admit that it is trying my patience.
Bring on the spring!