We are refugees at my mother-in-law's house, one of the few (very few) homes where I live that have power. The governor has declared our city and the surrounding towns in a state of emergency and the National Guard had been deployed. (You really dodged a bullet with this one, huh, Michelle?)
We lost power on Friday night. We hardly slept at all listening to the huge trees up and down our street moan from the weight of the ice, crack like a gunshot and then with the sound of a pane of glass, shatter on the ground. Every one sounded like it landed right on our house, so every 15 minutes we'd sit straight up in bed and look through the blinds of the windows right behind our headboard to see that it was actually across the street. When one fell close enough hit the gutters, we knew it. Oh man. By the second night we realized that it was kind of stupid to sleep with our heads pointed at a window which was directly in line with a gigantic oak tree, and we slept in another bedroom. Oh, my poor trees. I love our trees so much, the two huge oak trees where the first thing that I noticed when we looked at the house. Now they are trashed.
My town looks like a tornado ripped through it. Whole trees and limbs everywhere, utility poles snapped like twigs, electric lines down across streets and yards. There is a eerie feeling to the city--everything so covered in ice and silent except for the constant crack, shatter of the trees. Without the sun shining, everything looks like it's in black and white. Traffic signals and street lights are out and when night comes, it's pitch black. Gas stations have run out of gas and of course, all of the crooks have come to town in their 18-wheelers, selling generators and camping equipment out of the back for two and three times the price. My neighbor actually bought one of their $900 generators. The utility people say that we may not have power until the end of the week, and with sub-zero temps, there are practically riots when Lo.we's or Hom.e De.pot get in a shipment of generators.
After two nights in our frigid house and a nasty bout of stomach flu on my part (Great timing. Thank goodness we had water to flush the toilet) ,we decided that it wasn't an adventure anymore and gave up. So, we packed up some stuff for a few days, grabbed Nate's box and came here. I'm so thankful that we had some place to go--the shelters in town are filled to capacity. We are really, really lucky. Tom is checking on the house right now. So far, we've just had some gutter damage but I'm so terrified that our big tree is going to come down on our little house. I've seen it happen to others this weekend--this place is a demilitarize zone. Unbelievable. I have some pictures of our street and house, but they'll have to wait until we've got power again. It's going to take a long, long time to recover from this, but the important thing right now is that we're safe and warm and I've stopped barfing. Thank goodness.