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A beautiful disaster

December 21, 2008

Tornadoes and Earthquakes leave mangled wreckage.  Floods leave mud, dead crops, and moldy ruin.  Volcanoes cover everything in abrasive dust.  Plagues fill hospitals with the hopeless and dying.  Droughts mount mile-high dust storms and heat waves are just sweaty.  Ice storms are… unique as disasters go.

It started a couple days ago, a nasty ice storm that put 36,000 people out of power in Central Illinois.  The power company has been working non-stop to restore power, to say nothing of trees that fell on houses, etc.  The ceiling in my son’s apartment caved in and he is dealing with that. 

Then last night, the temperature dropped to below zero – a cruel development for those still without power.  And the wind began gusting to 30mph, downing trees, snapping power lines, and generally compounding the situation.  We may get more ice on Tuesday (Christmas eve eve) but no expected thaw until Saturday.  It is biting cold outside.  Happy holidays, everyone.

And yet… it is so beautiful.  Every tree branch sparkles like a diamond.  It is truly a gorgeous, destructive winter wonderland. (Click the picture for a larger view.)

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  1. December 22, 2008 at 10:36 | #1

    Stay warm.
    I have three brothers in Central Illinois, and one in Chicago, suffering right along with you.

  2. December 23, 2008 at 02:38 | #2

    Is your son doing all right?  Having a caved-in roof in this kind of weather has to be teh suck.  At least he heeded your warning and wasn’t standing below it when it went boom!

    At least the bad weather tries to compensate by being pretty to look at.

  3. December 23, 2008 at 08:08 | #3

    Not surprising that he has caught a cold, and is recovering with us for a few days.  He wondered; “What else can happen?” and then immediately retracted the question.

    Just the ceiling caved in, but that was nasty enough.  We took pictures of the incredible amount of mold behind it (indicating that the leakage problem is not limited to this storm) and he’s going to try to catch up with the city inspector tomorrow.  This isn’t the first time he’s complained about the ceiling leaking, and the landlord hasn’t done diddly.

  4. December 23, 2008 at 11:42 | #4

    I’m thinking I’m 2-3 hours north of you.

    Yesterday it was -5 at noon.  We have a foot of snow on the ground, we’re supposed to get 2-4” today and 2-4” tomorrow, but at least it’s warm, low 20’s.

    Plowing and shoveling?  There’s no place left to put it, and it’s not even Christmas yet.

  5. December 24, 2008 at 12:15 | #5

    There was an ice storm down here a few years back.

    You’re right.  The ice-clad trees are a beautiful sight.  This was further enhanced by the blue flashes as electrical lines started shorting from the breaking branches.

    We lost power for a week.


  6. December 24, 2008 at 14:46 | #6

    And 60,000 people in Nova Scotia lost power for a few days. The hydroelectric company said they might not get everything restored until Christmas but I think that the last 20,000 people got their power back this morning.

  7. December 24, 2008 at 18:47 | #7

    You have my sympathy. We took a similar beating about two weeks ago.

    Hope you have a nice holiday.

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