Report from the disaster area. Safe here and warm. This has been the worst disaster I have ever seen. I have been in hurricanes and this is MUCH WORSE. At the most intense part of a hurricane you can hear trees falling every few minutes. for maybe an hour.
ALL DAY we have been having major tree branches falling every 15 seconds and whole tops of trees falling every 30 seconds. then the wind picked up and for hours we have had whole tops of trees and whole trees going down every 10 seconds!!! It sounds like a war zone. Loud cracks, ripping of wood, crash of tons of ice shattering as it hits the ground. Even now I hear a constant sound of crashing..... It looks like a war zone ..... the road is a series of tangled trees. Most homes are out of electricity and because they have oil heat there is no heat..... emergency shelters are being set up in fire stations but most people can not get there. all roads in the county are CLOSED ...... no travel is allowed .... live electric wires are everywhere.... many people have no water (no electricity for pumps)..... of the 5 or 6 local radio stations none were on today... WSLU (the emergency radio channel) came on for a few hours. using people at the radio tower with generator broadcasting at a few hundred watts ..... and it is off air again.
Since I started writing this there have been trees and branches falling constantly and it is forecast to continue all night.... I really believe if it continue at this pace there will be very few trees left standing any where in the forest. the amount of ice build up is unbelievable and continuing. At this point some parts of the forest are totally devastated... WE must have about a average 20% loss of trees now and the loss has accelerated with the wind. it is still freezing rain. (huge crack up on the hill)
I'm warm and have plenty of firewood, food and water. the road is impassable with trees averaging every 50 feet across the road. telephone went out a long time ago. All the tree branches near the house have already fallen. Some laying on the roof but no real damage. I'm safe and all my close neighbors are safe... when the ice stops and the trees stop falling we will start cutting a path (with chain saws) down the road towards the west direction on the road.... my neighbor is going to start cutting from his drive way towards the main road (one mile .... It may take us a couple of days to cut a path out.) We don't expect the town to get to us (.... more big branches falling...) for a few days... radio said may not get power restored to all areas up here for 5 or 6 days....... most people with out power also have no heat..... over a million people in Canada with out power........ we are very lucky we have plenty of fire wood (dry) and no trees in danger of falling on our houses. so my main concern is the terrible loss of trees in the forest. and the fear that there may be no end to the ice build up .... 50% loss of trees has already happened in some exposed areas near the road (on the land across from us) ..... What is there to stop a total loss of all the trees????...... if I had a recording you would be amazed...... it sounds like a war is going on .... massive cracks as 1 or 2 foot diameter trees break under the weight and crash to the ground ... and the tons of ice sounds like a massive crash of glass. and then it slides off on the ice on top of the snow. This is the worst disaster I have ever seen. I hope it stops soon so we can save some trees.
Will write later.... (big crack near by ..... but not near the house.. I have never seen anything like this before) the closest I have seen is the most intense part of a hurricane going on constantly all day and night... Weather reports think this system is caused by El Nino..... if it is we are in real trouble....... It is like living in a science fiction movie.... after a while you even get used to the cracking of trees.... some are like guns shots others like thunder.... others are ripping sounds then the crash of ice that sound like glass breaking. there is nothing you can do to stop it.
1st hand report during the great ice storm of 1998. All my firewood for many years will be coming from the trees destroyed in this storm. Reporting on the scene 8pm thursday ...... more ice forecast for tonight and friday..... it is beyond belief.... our only hope tonight is for the freezing rain to turn to ice pellets and stop sticking to the trees.
Take Care, writing from my computer on the 12 volt battery system. out side of the loss of trees no problems here. much better off than the rest of the county without electricity and heat. even have the 12 volt tv and can see the latest satellite maps. no end in sight. signing off for now... will report again tomorrow.
Counter started April 10, 1998