Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What a Winter!

It really has been a surprisingly active winter when it comes to the weather. This last storm gave us another 3 inches of very heavy, wet snow and sleet followed by 1/4" to 1/2" of ice. Unfortunately, because it was so wet plus the ice, it was no good for going out to play in. and to make matters muddier, it got up into the 60s the very next day, turning everything to a wet mush. All-in-all, It has been the worst of the 3 storms we've gotten this winter. As of this writing, 5 days after the storm hit, there are still people without power. Friends of ours only got power back this evening. There are trees and limbs down everywhere in the city.

 Somehow, despite the poplars in our yard shedding small branches constantly, we never had a major limb fall or our power go out. Our precious dogwood was sagging miserably under the weight of the ice, but didn't lose so much as a twig.

It was quite beautiful, though...

I did have a close call, though. Rebecca had worked a partial shift the night that the storm hit and so drove home at 5:30 in the morning. Unsurprisingly, she couldn't get the car up our steep driveway, so she parked it at the bottom. Later that day, our neighbor called me to tell me that a huge limb had snapped about 60 feet up in a pine tree and it was hanging over our car. Not being a fool, I quickly went out and moved the car out onto the road. I thanked the neighbor and went inside. About 15 minutes later, Olivia came down from the schoolroom asking if I had heard the big crash. I hadn't, so I went outside to look and, sure enough, the limb had come down. But it didn't come alone... It took out 3 or 4 large limbs and came down in a heap right were the car had been.

A second period of entertainment came that night when it got really cold. I happened to be looking out the front window at about 9:00pm when the power line for the street lights across the street suddenly snapped, sending out an impressive array of sparks. However, it didn't end there. The wires on the ground started sparking and burning. To my amazement, it burned its way along the ground and up the pole, arcing and flashing like someone welding. 

It was quite impressive. I called 9-1-1 and reported the fire, but the firemen said there was nothing they could do unless Duke Energy cut the power to the line. Instead, they put caution tape across the road on either side of our house and left it to burn. And it did... All the way up the pole until it reached the light where the wires separated and stopped it from burning further.

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