Friday, December 12, 2008

Disaster Area

I have never seen an ice storm quite like the one I saw when I awoke this morning in the 37 years I have lived in Northern Worcester County.

Each of the five big trees in our yard were significantly damaged. The birch tree in the western yard was completely destroyed and the majestic catalpa tree that provides an incredible canopy of shade in the summer was at least half destroyed. The two maples and the beechnut were also heavily damaged. Luckily, none of them are close enough to the house to damage the structure.

We also dodged a bullet with the catalpa. Even though it was heavily damaged, for the first time in I can't remember how log we did not park one of the cars underneath it. Not because of any foresight--we had guests last night and had to pull farther into the driveway than usual. Very fortunate indeed.

Many of the roads in and around Sterling, Lancaster and Clinton were closed this morning because of downed limbs and powerlines. When I awoke at 8:00, traffic on route 62 had been routed up our hill because the main road was closed. When we left our house at 9:00 to find a place with some heat, a tree had fallen across our road and traffic that was using it to get from Clinton to Sterling was being forced to turn around. Not sure how long it was until the road to Sterling was again opened.

Update 2:00 pm -- Just got a call that Route 62 between Lancaster and Sterling is still closed.

We lost power last night sometime after midnight. It was a very eerie night. There was no light at all (street lights, neighbor's homes, etc. were all out) and the only noise was the regular crashing of limbs reverberating around the neighborhood. There was a crash nearly every couple of minutes--some close by, some from a distance. It literally sounded like the world was crashing down around us.

The power company told us that we should not expect power for a couple of days. While driving this morning, WBZ radio reported that the governor warned most of the 300,000 or more people in the state without power that they probably wouldn't have it restored until Monday.

I took a number of pictures this morning shortly after first light (a harrowing experience in itself as I saw five limbs and tops of trees crumble in the ten minutes I was out) and will post them once I have a combination of camera, USB cable, computer with power, and Internet. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.

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