Thanks to all of you far-off family and friends who have been e-mailing and calling us to make sure we were okay. This ice storm sure has been all over the national news. We knew it was going to be bad when on Monday, the National Weather Service held a press conference in Paducah, KY, to update everyone on the impending storm!
It basically was a rain storm coming through, but as it hit the trees and ground, it instantly froze. The kids ended up being out of school from Tuesday through Friday (makes 6 1/2 days we've missed so far this year!) Tuesday started off just being a fun vacation day, having friends over to play, going out to our weekly Tuesday night dinner with a few other families for free kids' meal night, etc. THEN, power started going off all over the city! 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, it hit our house. Thankfully, our house was still warm, so we put everyone to bed, and wondered what to do next. At 9:30, it suddenly came back on! So, we were able to kick up the heat again, watch TV, etc., as we headed off to bed. But the power only lasted a few hours and it went off for good just before midnight Tuesday night.
The next morning, Brian kept a fire blazing in the fireplace and several families came over to hang with us. I got out my camp stoves and cooked up some homemade chicken noodle soup that I had made up the day before. Had hot chocolate, too, and cooked hot dogs over the fireplace. Eventually everyone went home to put their kids down for naps, and we did the same. Bundled them up and got every available blanket out! Later that afternoon, Mike & Brooke came back over again and told us they saw some electricity on on one of the main streets in town. So we hooked up with some other families and went out to eat, mainly to sit in some warmth! By this point, it was getting pretty chilly in our house, even with the fire blazing non-stop! After dinner, Mike & Brooke arrived home to find that they had power, so we packed up the fam and went to their place for the night (Wed.). Thank you Mike and Brooke! The next day, the Fowlers came back and joined us at the Roberts' house, and it was a fun day of hanging out with friends in the heat! Mid-afternoon, Kelly and I came back to our houses to gather up clothes for the next day, and we were thrilled to find the power had just come back to our street about 20 minutes earlier! I turned up the heat and started the dishwasher. It was 37 degrees in our house!!! Knowing it would take several hours to warm up the house, we went back to the Roberts, then everyone went up to Brian's gymnastics room at ASU to play, and then out to dinner with the Roberts, Fowlers & Gschwends. We would periodcially call our house to make sure the answering machine was still on, and were dismayed when it didn't pick up for several phone calls! Our power had apparently gone back off, but thankfully was going strong by the time we got home from dinner last night! It was so nice to get everyone ready for bed in the light, and know they would be plenty warm all night long!
It was a fun adventure, especially for the kids, and we had a great time hanging out with our friends, but it is nice to be attempting to return to normalcy again now! It's 38 degrees here today, so all the ice is melting. Huge chunks are falling off of trees, power lines and buildings, and frankly it is very un-safe out there right now! It is super-loud as all the ice rains down on our roof! We lost many trees or parts of trees in our yard, but so far as we can tell, our fence, roof and deck are still okay. That is much better than many people around here! We have heard many reports of people who have trees IN their homes, windows broken out, fences gone, gutters ripped off, etc. Even some injuries and deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning from generators and grills. There are FEMA trucks in town and insurance adjusters are arriving from a dozen states to help assess the damage. Some of our friends still won't have power for several more days, and for some of the out-lying areas it will be 6 weeks!!! The "record" I've heard for consecutive power poles being snapped in half is 82! Those people will be out of electricity for a long time!
Anyway, thanks for all your prayers, and we are doing well. Everyone is napping in their own beds as I write this, and Brian's out with his chain saw and some other guys, helping clean things up!
7 months ago