Friday, February 14, 2014

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

Well, we have learned a whole new meaning to "Snap, Crackle, Pop!" over the last few days.  We were hit with the Ice Storm "for the history books" on Wednesday.  I learned the difference in freezing rain and sleet. Mostly we had freezing rain, which is MUCH worse to have than sleet (according to Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel).  Leading up to this ice storm, we heard the forecast get worse and worse for the Augusta area.  By Tuesday night, they were told that the ice could be anywhere from 1/2 inch to 2 inches and that this are was likely to lose power for possibly multiple days.  We prepared for the worst as well as we could, but I was really hoping that the forecasts were wrong.  Two weeks ago, the meteorologists were completely wrong about the forecasts for Birmingham and Atlanta which resulted in people being unprepared.  I was hoping that they had erred on the side of caution and predicted way worse than would actually happen.  Unfortunately, I was wrong and they were right!

Freezing rain and sleet fell all day on Wednesday.  We had mostly freezing rain, which as I said, is worse than sleet.  According to the Weather Channel, sleet lands and clumps, but doesn't really freeze to the ground or to trees.  Freezing rain is rain, but it freezes when it hits the surface, so it results in ice all over the ground and all on the trees.  The trees were beautiful!  And, dangerous!

After an uneventful day of playing at home most of Wednesday, we lost power in the late afternoon.  We had hoped to be able to grill some hotdogs or something warm, but quickly realized that our grill was completely frozen and would not light!  We dined on sandwiches instead.  However, after a couple of hours, the power came back on.  We though, "Yay, we're home free!"  Ha!

About the time we put the boys to bed (downstairs), the power went out again.  This time, it did not come back on quickly.  We had decided to sleep downstairs because we had already had a tree branch fall and pierce the roof overhang on the front of the house.  We knew that branches and trees may fall during the night from the weight of the ice, so we wanted everyone on the lowest floor possible.  Thankfully, the boys sleep great all night.  Unfortunately, Jeremy and I didn't.  We heard "Snap, Crackle, Pop" all night long!  I would almost be asleep and then I would hear the first little snap.  With that, I would start listening and the snap would be followed by a crackle and a pop and a whoosh and a CRASH!  Sometimes, it would be at our house and other times it would be at a neighbors house.  Every time I heard the first sound, I would hold my breath to see if it would crash on our house!  We got up several times throughout the night to look out the windows at the yard.  The branches and trees fell throughout the neighborhood all night long.

Thankfully, our house was spared other than the earlier piercing.  We had a bunch of branches fall throughout the front and back yards, but honestly, we were so blessed!  As we have driven around over the past couple of days, we see damage, trees, and branches everywhere.  The only thing I could compare it to is that it looks like a tornado went through the trees all over town.  I have never seen so much tree damage except in Huntsville after the tornadoes of 2011.

Branches continued to fall during part of the morning, but not with the frequency and intensity as the night before.  But, ice started falling in huge clumps.  It was dangerous to be outside, so we stuck to inside all day Thursday.  By Thursday afternoon, the roads were clear, but we still did not have power.  We were tired of being cooped up at home and cold, so we decided to take a ride to see what was open.  We hoped to find somewhere to charge our cell phones or to buy a car charger.  Target ended up being open, so we walked around there for awhile.  It was so nice and warm!

When we left Target, we noticed that Red Robin looked like it had just opened so we decided to go get a hot meal.  When we got there, we were seated immediately, but as soon as we sat up, I looked at the entrance and was shocked to see at least 25 people suddenly waiting with a line out the door!  I was so glad that we got there when we did.  They were only serving a limited menu, but we were happy with anything at that point.  By the time we left an hour later, there was already a note on the door saying, "Sorry!  Closed".  I think their limited menu was running out.  However, while we were at dinner, I received a text from my friend Beth that her brother who lives in our neighborhood had just gotten power back, so we headed home with hopeful hearts!  And, we did have power!  

Unfortunately, so many friends still do not have power.

Okay, as I am typing this, we just felt an earthquake!  Yep, an EARTHQUAKE!!!  That was insane.  I am still shaking!!!

Okay, back to my ice storm.  Here are a couple of videos showing our front and back yards with the debris leftover from the ice.

Front Yard:

Back Yard:

Okay, I'm going to relax after an ice storm, power outage, and earthquake within the last 48 hours! 

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