That’s Not An Ice Storm…This Is An Ice Storm!
Yesterday January 9th, 2017 a so-called "ice storm" hit the Grand Valley. No question the falling precipitation made for some treacherous driving conditions. However, exactly 10 years ago to the day, a REAL ice storm clobbered my friends and family in Southwest Missouri.
I was living in Wichita at the time but my mom, sister, and other relatives were battling an event that knocked out power to tens of thousands of people. Ice-laden tree limbs broke and fell onto power lines, often tearing them off utility poles and leaving live wires on the ground.
That ice storm came in three waves of freezing rain. Tree branches laden with up to an inch and a half of ice snapped. Ice accumulated so fast that even some trees keeled over, crushing homes and vehicles. In the Springfield area, some 200,000 people were without power for days. In areas outside the city some people lost power for two weeks or more!
The National Guard patrolled rural areas. Hundreds of utility workers from other states poured into the Ozarks to help restore electricity.
The ice storm prompted a massive cleanup of downed limbs, and for weeks an armada of special trucks equipped with grappling arms lumbered through the city and rural areas picking up huge piles of tree limbs. They were stacked and burned in a massive fire west of town months after the ice storm ended.
So I apologize if I laughed to myself when I heard someone say "a major ice storm" was underway yesterday. Trust me, be thankful you live in a place where this type of apocalyptic ice event could never happen. I wouldn't have wished it on my worst enemy.