Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm Photos from Hutchinson Kansas

We've got a major ice storm going on in Hutchinson, Kansas, where I live.

I wanted to share some photos with you, but it's difficult to move around town for any amount of time. There are trees and power lines across the roads in various places. As always, it's sporadic. Last night I had no power, but one street to the north they had power.

If you look in the foreground of this photo you can see the real problem - a power line just laying across the road. I was able to drive right up to it. I turned around instead of driving over it. The road was not blocked - there are so many things like this that officials just can't control it all. There just isn't enough manpower to do it.

Here's the problem in a nutshell. See how heavy the tree is? Now, look at the power line and notice it's bowed not only from the ice, but also because a branch is balancing on it. This is not good. It's on Sherman street in the Houston Whiteside area. Unfortunately for me, that's very close to my house so this probably doesn't bode well for me and my neighbors as far as power goes.

Here's another situation in another part of town. It becomes a guessing game - which will break first - the tree or the line.

That question has been answered in many places.

There are trees on roofs

On trucks...

in yards...

and across roads...

Many times you have to back up because the road is completely blocked.

I'm in my office and downtown has power - at least at the moment. I'm recharging all my rechargeable flashlights and the zune so I have a radio.

I still have no power at home, although I understand it was on for a couple of hours overnight. That would explain why I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortably warm I was when I woke up. Unless we get power soon, that will not be the case later today. I opened the drapes to let what little sunlight there is into the house. But, it's not really sunny - very overcast. It's 32 and supposed to go down to 20. If it would just warm up a couple of degrees or the sun would come out it would do wonders. But, they're saying we're getting another inch of ice tonight.

There are 11,000 people in Reno County without power. In a county that has only about 50,000 people that's a significant portion of the population. And that doesn't account for the rural electric, which estimates another 4,500 are without power. Hutchinson is the county seat of Reno County. Estimates are that 70,000 are without power across the state. Repeatedly I'm hearing that Hutchinson is one of the hardest hit areas - and it would seem that Reno County accounts for a large percentage of those without power.

Of course, you can't help but see the beauty in it, too. It would be easier for me to see the beauty if my house were warm.

Crews are out everywhere, but of course we're all impatient. They're not making any promises about when we can expect power. If it gets too bad, and my office continues to have power I can sleep here. There are two shelters, including one at Trinity United Methodist.

I will be leaving here soon to get something to eat. I don't want to open my fridge so am going to go out and get some food. I will continue to update from my phone when possible. Although I'm posting this to numerous places, I only post to the blog at www.patsyterrell.com from my phone so check there for the latest.



Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all your updates. My folks live in Hutch and I wasn't able to reach them this morning. At least, through your blogging, I was able to determine the situation. I've since talked to them and they are without power, but doing fine. I always enjoy reading your blog, but it was especially beneficial today.

Patsy Terrell said...

So glad it was helpful. There have been no structural fires and no deaths as a result of the storm. But unless people have an old fashioned hard wired phone in the wall that doesn't require eletricity it's hard to reach anyone. I'm very happy to have power at my office.

David Torrence Photography said...

Thanks so much of your coverage of this storm. My In-laws and my father also live in Hutch. Hutch news website has not had the amount of coverage your blog has had. Thanks so much for the updates. It has helped

Patsy Terrell said...

Thanks for your kind comments, David. Seeing that you're a photographer, I'm embarrassed by my amateur pix. You might enjoy the ones my friend, Greg, who's a professional, took last night. www.thelope.com

Interestingly enough, people often tell me I'm giving more coverage than the News to something - I think it's just a matter of they're trying to cover a lot of things and if I'm doing something "newsy" it's just one little thing.

I'm wondering if you're related to my optometrist. He's the only other Torrence I know here. Thanks for reading and letting me know the blog was useful to you.

David Torrence Photography said...

Yes, my dad must be your optometrist. My wife Kathy (the first comment on this page) says you may also know her folks Lew and Julane.

I enjoy your photographic coverage...thanks for getting out there to document. We hope you and everyone gets power restored as soon as possible.

Patsy Terrell said...

I guess this would be a case of "small world." I don't know Kathy's folks, although the names sound familiar. Tonight we're getting a huge snowfall, which doesn't bode well for me getting power soon I'm guessing. Five days is a long time without power, but I guess I'll get to be without a little longer.