We are doing great here. the freezing rain finally stopped this morning after tapering off last night. the sun came out today and it warmed up to about 35 degrees. we needed that.. most of the massive amounts of ice came off the trees. Made contact with neighbors down the road. they came to tell us they contacted with a road that is cleared. People down that end of the road started at first light and used their chain saws to clear a path for a car to a road that is open to Colton. People down the road near us have started working towards the cleared part of the road. and we are now clearing in that direction to connect to them. Our road is doing good. all have wood heat. We worked all day with chain saws clearing towards the people over the hill. lots of trees and branches. we expect to connect to them and they expect to connect to the cleared part of the road tomorrow. There is still a state of emergency where no travel is allowed. but we have reports from neighbors that people further down the road made it to Colton. the store there has supplies and can pump gas but they have no lights. If we make contact with the cleared road tomorrow we plan on sending out an expedition to Colton to make phone calls to tell people we are all right and to try and get people we know in town to come out here and stay warm. the governor was here today in Potsdam. the local emergency radio is back on line. yesterday they were asking for volunteers who could reach their radio transmitter to run the generator. First, they wanted people who had experience with generators then later they asked for anyone who could get there.
Cutting today was interesting as we had to deal with 4 trees pulling the telephone line down to the road. .... no electrical lines on this road.... telephone lines are safe.... we had to get enough of the trees off the line to have enough room to get a car under. the line is now up enough to get under that part of the road. we went down the road in the direction we are cutting and saw a telephone pole snapped right off. and 2 cable supports broken. from the weight of trees on it. after that the road is clear. we have now coordinated our clearing efforts and will work to connect to our neighbor's place after we connect to the cleared road and reach town. the closest phone that works is Colton (10 miles away). Clinton declared the 5 counties a disaster area and they are sending in troops with jeeps and helicopters to check on the rural areas. they will see we have almost cleared one end of the road. we don't need any help here. the real problem is people without electricity who don't have heat. Niagara mohawk estimated 2 weeks to get everyone back on line and cold below zero weather is forecast. the troops will need to reach those people to get them to shelters. the governor was at the shelter at potsdam state. in the gym. out here in the country we are all helping each other and are doing really good. last night we had dinner next door and watched videos with their generator. we really have no shortages of any kind. Watched video again tonight.
Mainly we want to get to town to make calls to let people know we are ok and see if people in town need help. Malone has a state of emergency until at least Thursday. so we are talking probably most of the week with no one going to work.
will start cutting on the road early tomorrow. had to have hard hats on (which we had) to protect from the melting ice as it fell. beautiful sun today ... as the ice melted but it looked like a disaster. the governor was really amazed to see the damage. he said you imagine power lines down. but you see poles snapped off and lines down for miles. thousands of lines. He expects it will be a long time to recover. the increasing danger as the main lines come on line the local lines suddenly become hot. sparking in the street. some towns have a ban on walking outside besides the travel ban.
It have been great in our area we are all working together to clear the roads and connect to more homes so when the troops arrive we will be already be connected to town at least on one end of the road. they can work on the other end.
the loss in the forest is pretty bad .... but no where as bad as it could have been. we have probably a 50% or more loss of trees. forest was not totally destroyed but close..... (one night more of ice would have totally destroyed it. We can recover. but a real disaster level of damage. this will mean more sun into the forest and lots of raspberries, and low vegetation...... this will lead to a big increase in deer .... but with all the stuff to eat .... maybe less attempts to get in the garden for a while. but long term we may have to start eating more deer.
after this expect a lot of people up here to get wood stoves. at least as a back up. and there will be amazing amounts of destroyed trees for firewood. so it could lead to a cultural change that makes it easy to convert to wood and get firewood easy or at a cheap price. this will cause money that used to be spent on oil heat to be spent on wood here in the county. that means that more money will stay in the local economy instead of leaving to pay for oil. that could be a good thing locally. revival of the wood stove and local wood suppliers. more work for people who lost their jobs lately. so, who knows this may turn out to be an important catalyst for more change to a local economy which we really need up here.
I'd like to see an air view of this place. Canada is worse. they had pictures of big electrical towers rows of them all crumpled. .... you are talking weeks to recover from that.
Hope to get to a phone by tomorrow and will call. I am going to try to put this report on disk and mail it to relatives. My nephew can then email it out to others. hope to have pictures ready to post on the web site when conditions permit.
Take Care, continuing adventures ....from the disaster area. keep you posted.
Counter started April 10, 1998