Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm Photos from Central Kansas

I believe the reason I don't have power is related to this sort of problem. Hutchinson Kansas, where I live, is full of scenes like this today. This was taken on Severance, around 9th street, but similar sights are all over town.

You can follow the power line here and see that it's a bit "strained." Power lines are not meant to form angles like this, or to be so heavily laden that they're draped like Christmas garland.

Power lines are also not designed to be a support structure for tree limbs.

That one, I'm sorry to say, is very near my home - less than a half a block away.

This one is in the opposite end of town, near Derenda Drive. It's a little hard to make out the line on the far side of the branch, but it is still attached to the pole. Well, at least it was this afternoon. That may have changed.

As far as I can tell, no area of town escaped this storm.

Storms are indiscriminate - they even damage mangers. But, if you're a religious person, note how that manger saved the roof. I'm just saying...

There are still some of us without power. It's really frustrating to me - the next block up from me - three houses away, has power. The people across the street have power. But, not me. Yet. However, the most expensive part of town (which is NOT where I live) is still without power, too. So, I guess I have some company.

There is damage everywhere.

Even tonight there are roads barricaded off because of downed limbs. In some places there are physical barricades and in some just caution tape tied to what's left of trees.

When you're driving around, you're always considering if the branches above you are going to hold out. Except this guy... All I can figure is that he feels secure in the deal he has made with the ice gods.

This was the only vehicle on the street and it was right under a heavily laden tree. But, in his defense, there wasn't a branch on the truck. Maybe he knows those folks with the manger that saved their roof.

And... finally... a little bit of irony... Yes... one should BE AWARE...

Fire trucks have been going everywhere all day but I understand from the radio reports that there have been no structural fires here from downed power lines. I hope that continues to be the case.

Well, I'm off to get some dinner and then to try and sleep in my chilled home.

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.


Ice Storm Photo

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.

Check the blog at www.patsyterrell.com for the latest. I can update it from my phone even when I don't have net access and power.

Ice Storm in Hutchinson Kansas

This is at the southwest corner of Severance and Third Street in Huthinson Kansas. It's about half a mile from my house.

I'm at my office where I have power. I will continue to update, but only to www.patsyterrell.com/blog.htm since I can post there from my phone. So, if you're reading this somewhere other than my page, check the blog at  www.patsyterrell.com for the latest. 

Ice storm and rain storm

I am back home. It's not miserably cold in my house but I'm going to want some heat in the next few hours.

it's still only rain. I think the weather forecasters have gotten over zealous once again.

But it's weird. There's ice on trees, lines, fences, etc. It's 32 degrees. It seems as it rains some of it is freezing onto coated surfaces and the rest is coming down rain.

We took pix but have no power to upload them. But it looks like I have power at my office so I will get pix online in a few hours. I'm going to sleep until daylight when I can see better.

There are huge chunks of trees in the streets and on people's lawns. The $400 I paid to have a big tree cut from beside my garage seems like money well spent right now.

(sent from mobile device)

Power crews are out working. As usual it's odd who has power and who doesn't. Houses on one side are dark and three doors down they have power. I would be mighty happy to go home and discover I had power but I didn't see any crews in my area. Pity.

(sent from mobile device)

Greg and I are out driving around. Lots of trees down. People just a few blocks away have power. The roads are just slushy but trees are coated with ice.

(sent from mobile device)

I can hear trees breaking and crashing and what I assume are transformers blowing. It's dark everywhere. The only other sounds are train whistles and the occasional vehicle.

(sent from mobile device)