Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Terrible Beauty: Winter Storm 2009, Western Kentucky

In case anyone was wondering, I haven't been asleep at my post. Western Kentucky was right in the middle of a catastrophic ice storm, and I've been without power for 8 days. (700,000 homes/sites lost power, and some may not have it for weeks yet.) The kinfolk and I are fine (Praise God!), but being in the center of federal disaster area does not lend itself to frequent blogging. Please keep the area in your prayers--especially people without any heat or water.

Like elaborate blown-glass... Aprox. one inch of ice, which the local media said made the trees weigh 30 times more.

Most of our trees couldn't hold that kind of burden.

The treeline around the house (or anywhere I've been, really) looks like a drunk barber came through with a giant pair of clippers. For at least 24 hours after the storm hit you could hear large branches cracking and falling at the rate of about three a minute. First, there would be a sudden popping noise, like gunfire in the distance; then a loud crack! as the branch broke completely free; and finally a tinkling sound, like glass wind-chimes, as everything fell.

After the ice melted, the top finally snapped off this juniper tree (greenish thing to the left). Stepping outside, the first thing that hit me was the "green" and slightly spicy smell of all the broken pine and oak trees.

Close-up of a hole through the roof of my parents' house. (Caitlin, if you're reading this, take a close look--it'll be gone before you get back. Terribly undramatic for a hole-through-the-roof, I thought. Not that I'm complaining.)

Dad taking care of some of the mess with his chainsaw. Still photos don't begin to capture the otherworldly nature of the aftermath. Sometimes life is more dramatic than literature.

(Note: Many of these photos were stolen from my parents. Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

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