Ice storms

MoDoug

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2018
403
NE Missouri
Waking up this morning to seeing ice on all the trees makes me think of the ice storms of 2007 and 2009. I think it was the ice storm of 2007 that was particularly devastating. Every January I go on a guys trout fishing trip to Lake Taneycomo, near Branson MO. It was a long treacherous drive from St. Louis to Lake Taneycomo and there were trees down everywhere, power lines down, cars and trucks in ditches, some areas looked like war zones. All the older boat docks at Lake Taneycomo collapsed from the weight. We didn't have a wood stove at the time, but the one positive I remember thinking was all the wood that would be available from the cleanup for people that did.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
810
Western Washington
We’ve had a few damaging ice storms here too. I can remember very well cutting timber in some nightmares caused by them. In one of them a frantic contractor convinced me to drive about an hour and piece about 10 fir down in a lot. The ice was about an inch thick on the wind side of the trunks. Sounds more crazy than it really turned out to be. The wind helped so I didn’t have to guess the lean or wedge anything but the drive to get there was stupid
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Icing here right now and supposed to continue all day. Ambient is at 31. Hopefully, we don't loose power but there is the standby just in case. Probably be a ton of wrecks on the roads. People don't exhibit a lot of sense today. Us, we are home and cozy around the fire. People today are under the assumption that if they have an AWD car or a SUV, they can drive anywhere, anytime and they can to a point, but ice don't care what you motor in. It's slick. Most all the wrecks I see are SUV's and AWD cars and usually pretty good too. Had one down the road few days ago. I guess the driver wanted to see how well his Jeep Renegade drove on it's roof. Not too well but it did make it to the drainage ditch. Sure was ugly when the wrecker yanked it out too. Jeeps don't seem very strong, it folded up like a ball of tinfoil.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
810
Western Washington
Icing here right now and supposed to continue all day. Ambient is at 31. Hopefully, we don't loose power but there is the standby just in case. Probably be a ton of wrecks on the roads. People don't exhibit a lot of sense today. Us, we are home and cozy around the fire. People today are under the assumption that if they have an AWD car or a SUV, they can drive anywhere, anytime and they can to a point, but ice don't care what you motor in. It's slick. Most all the wrecks I see are SUV's and AWD cars and usually pretty good too. Had one down the road few days ago. I guess the driver wanted to see how well his Jeep Renegade drove on it's roof. Not too well but it did make it to the drainage ditch. Sure was ugly when the wrecker yanked it out too. Jeeps don't seem very strong, it folded up like a ball of tinfoil.
Lol, those short wheelbase rigs add some excitement for sure
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Gas mileage isn't all that great either............... :)
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
368
Hicksville, Ohio
I headed out at 8 this morning to cut some firewood. At 1030 when I was ready to come home I had icicles in my hair! Never did that while cutting wood before. I would have stayed out longer but the ice was starting to accumulate on the logs making them hard to handle and dulling the chain.
 
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RockCastile

Member
Nov 9, 2015
45
VA
Aside from the blizzard of '93, probably the most epic weather event for me was the 2018 week-before-thanksgiving ice storm that hit here on the Blue Ridge in SW Va. About a 1.5 inch layer, maybe a little more, the hills were alive with the sound of cracking tree tops, unnerving sound. Power out 5 days, an army of repair crews in from multiple states, utility trucks up and down every back road like martial law, diesel and back-up beepers 24/7. Nary a hardwood tree to be found undamaged, forests hideous when it finally melted. All roads clogged with thickets of downed limbs, like encroaching mangrove, only hope of clearing was tractors running back and forth with boom mowers, grinding back a couple feet of thicket with each pass. Now I understand why one never sees a "stately" oak or "specimen" landscape tree here.
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
915
SW Missoura
Waking up this morning to seeing ice on all the trees makes me think of the ice storms of 2007 and 2009. I think it was the ice storm of 2007 that was particularly devastating. Every January I go on a guys trout fishing trip to Lake Taneycomo, near Branson MO. It was a long treacherous drive from St. Louis to Lake Taneycomo and there were trees down everywhere, power lines down, cars and trucks in ditches, some areas looked like war zones. All the older boat docks at Lake Taneycomo collapsed from the weight. We didn't have a wood stove at the time, but the one positive I remember thinking was all the wood that would be available from the cleanup for people that did.
Yea that was a doozy storm. We got two inches where I'm at near Buffalo/Lebanon area. As it was happening me and my father would stand out on the front porch at night and listen to the constant sound of trees snapping in the woods surrounding us. It was like listening to thunder. It was my senior year and we missed two weeks of school because of it. We were out of power for two weeks but others were without it for much longer. A lot of gas stations were fined for price gouging when the gas supply got short because of the roads being so bad it couldn't get delivered and just very few had the power to open. Luckily we had a stove at my parents so a good portion of my mother's side of the family stayed with us for a week. It definitely looked like a war zone too. Like a bomb had been dropped. We had to drive to buffalo.....12 miles of butt puckering..... to run a kerosene heater in the crawl spaces of my mothers business and some friends houses every day and it was a ghost town. The power lines that were down were unreal. Poles,trees snapped in half and all over the road. It was actually one of the best times I ever had though. Me, my father and my uncle spent the first day after the storm clearing the three mile gravel road we lived on of trees. Between that and riding the arctic cat 650 all over gods creation it was a unique experience. Plus I didn't have to make up the two weeks of school because it was declared a natural disaster lol. Anyways now that I'm older I don't care for the ice so much and luckily today we only ended up with 3/10's a inch of ice and a inch of snow.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I headed out at 8 this morning to cut some firewood. At 1030 when I was ready to come home I had icicles in my hair! Never did that while cutting wood before. I would have stayed out longer but the ice was starting to accumulate on the logs making them hard to handle and dulling the chain.
Good old Hicksville, know it well. Was the back way out of Steel Dynamics in Butler when I'd load heavy. Only thing was the low bridge on the west side of town but I could fit under with my covered wagon, no problem. Not so for a van trailer. Good old days. Retired now and liking it just fine.

We have about 1/4" of ice right now and still freezing rain. Getting ready for dinner. We are having Prime Rib, mashed potatoes and corn with cream cheesecake for dessert.

No power problems yet. Don't really worry about that. Have a diesel backup generator by the shop. 45 seconds of no line power and I'm on backup with a 1000 gallon diesel tank to run it.
 
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andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
368
Hicksville, Ohio
Good old Hicksville, know it well. Was the back way out of Steel Dynamics in Butler when I'd load heavy. Only thing was the low bridge on the west side of town but I could fit under with my covered wagon, no problem. Not so for a van trailer. Good old days. Retired now and liking it just fine
My brother and dad haul out of there sometimes. They are currently working to raise the RR bridge. Not sure how much though. Unbelievable how often trucks would ram into it!
 

Mark N MO

Member
Feb 22, 2016
71
SW MO
Lots of good memories of winter trout fishing on Taneycomo. Best time to go is now, fishing is good, and they don't generally run the generators as much.

In 07, we lived SW of Neosho, MO on a few acres in a total electric house. I remember hearing the weather radio report calling for a "catastrophic and historic event". When power went off, it was off for 12 days. We stayed with friends, in motels, and a couple of nights at a lodge I was guiding for at the time. The lessons learned from that event helped to set us up for any future events. We bought our current home and acreage 15 miles north of Joplin, MO in April of 08. One of the first things we did was install a stand-by generator capable of handling the whole house load. Second on the list was the Buck 91. There were plenty of downed limbs and trees to clean up. This last storm had all the hallmarks of the 07 storm, just didn't gel like it did then. We dodged a pretty big bullet the other night, 3/4" of rain with freezing temps to start. Sometime during the night conditions changed to sleet and snow. There's about 1/16" or so of ice, with another 1 1/2" of sleet/snow. Plenty of red and white oak, and hickory in the shed to ward off the chill.

 

walhondingnashua

Feeling the Heat
Jul 23, 2016
351
ohio
My grandpa refused to buy a 4x4 truck. Always a 2wd 1/2 ton F-150 single cab with 8' bed and a camper top. New one every 5 years. When I was old enough to recognize these kinds of things, I went with him to pick up a new one. I asked him why he didn't get 4x4? He said "4 wheel drive is for bad drivers. Why would I pay all that money for something I'll only use a few hours in 5 years."
He never, and I mean never got stuck. I learned a lot about getting around with just 2 wheels... but I own 4x4 and always will lol.
 

MoDoug

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2018
403
NE Missouri
@Grizzerbear and @Mark N MO , with you guys being pretty much at ground zero on that ice storm, I thought you might have some good stories to relate. We lived in O'Fallon MO at the time, so I didn't have to live the experience, other than staying at Taney for 4 days. The forecast was dire, but we usually go on our trip and bear through it. One of the guys brought a 150 feet of steel cable that we ended up using to lower the boat down the ramp to the water because it was iced up. If I could find them, I have a lot of pics from that weekend of all the boat docks collapsed on boats, and Lake of the Ozarks was hit a lot harder. The devastation brought by ice is amazing, it sticks to everything and is HEAVY! It's bad enough on yard and city trees, but as @RockCastile mentioned, I hate seeing on old stately forests scarred so badly.
 
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MoDoug

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2018
403
NE Missouri
He said "4 wheel drive is for bad drivers. Why would I pay all that money for something I'll only use a few hours in 5 years."
He never, and I mean never got stuck. I learned a lot about getting around with just 2 wheels... but I own 4x4 and always will lol.
We all have our way of thinking, especially by the time you reach grandpa age. LOL Same here on the 4x4.
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
915
SW Missoura
@Grizzerbear and @Mark N MO , with you guys being pretty much at ground zero on that ice storm, I thought you might have some good stories to relate. We lived in O'Fallon MO at the time, so I didn't have to live the experience, other than staying at Taney for 4 days. The forecast was dire, but we usually go on our trip and bear through it. One of the guys brought a 150 feet of steel cable that we ended up using to lower the boat down the ramp to the water because it was iced up. If I could find them, I have a lot of pics from that weekend of all the boat docks collapsed on boats, and Lake of the Ozarks was hit a lot harder. The devastation brought by ice is amazing, it sticks to everything and is HEAVY! It's bad enough on yard and city trees, but as @RockCastile mentioned, I hate seeing on old stately forests scarred so badly.
I wish I had thought to take pictures at the time of that event. It was likely a once in a lifetime experience but I will never forget it.

Yea I have 4 wheel drive. I will admit I have used it maybe 10 times in the ten years I have had the truck and most of those times I was just playing around. It's one of those things that you don't absolutely have to have, but sure comes in handy in certain situations. It wont do you any good on ice though.
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,339
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Ice Storm of 1998 . . . I think we were without power for 14 days (although part of that time I was gone as I was at the National Fire Academy -- leaving my poor wife behind with one broken arm to keep the generator fueled and going -- long story, short . . . she trippped over the ATV plow in the dark that I had not moved.)

This was before we had a woodstove or a generator capable of running the entire house. Thankfully temps were on the mild side and we had an electrician friend who was able to wire up a plug so we could run the oil boiler off the small generator I was fortunate enough to buy. To be frank, this was one of the main reasons I eventually bought and installed a woodstove . . . the other reason being the $4+/gallon heating oil prices of 2008.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,380
Downeast Maine
Ended up taking us a day and a half to clear the snow around here. It started out easy enough with a inch or so of snow, then it rained, then it snowed another two inches.
 

CatfishHunter

New Member
Dec 8, 2020
32
Minnesota
Whether you have or need 4x4 is definitely affected by the climate where you live. I put good snow tires on my truck every winter but still use 4x4 constantly. My truck hasn't seen dry pavement in weeks and won't until the end of winter. Your grandpa's truck wouldn't have pulled my snowmobile trailer through the 1ft deep snow I went through last weekend!

That said, if I didn't need 4x4 for the climate and activities that I am involved with.....I would never get it. I actually love driving rear wheel drive cars in the snow. I feel that I get better traction while driving than in front wheel drive. The only negative is that you can't start as fast from a stoplight!
 

Mutineer

Member
Dec 13, 2018
92
NE Ohio
Spent the week before XMas in Anchorage with my daughter, she has a '12 Escape AWD that I got studded snows for before my wife and I drove it up there from Ohio in Sept. 2016 (had all seasons on it for the drive up there, 4250 miles would have made a serious dent in the life of the snows). First time driving around on studs and after the first couple of hours where she scared the s**t out of me by driving about twice as fast as I would have driven those snow/ice covered roads, I became a true believer. She basically drove the same speeds as she does in the summer, with no perceptible sliding or uncontrolled events. My wife and I drove it a couple of times at night, heading north of the city to see the Northern Lights, and the snow covered switchbacks climbing the mountain were a piece of cake. No Northern Lights though.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,199
Eastern Central PA
I use the 4WD almost every day. Parts of my driveway is steep and even if theres no snow if i start spinning the back tires ill just tear up ruts that i have to fix. That said a 2WD truck rides SO much nicer the rest of the time. I hate the stiff ride you get from some 4Wd models like my GMC Sierra.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,604
07462
I have almost 15yrs in the power co, first 10 yrs I ran a 2 wheel drive chevy 3500 long bed, if it got bad we'd put something heavy in the back and chain up the rear wheels, never had an issue, upgraded my job within the company, now have a 4x4 f150, I've gotten stuck a few times, but have also made it out all times under my own power with exception of 2 small isolated incidents lol.
Worked many ice storms, snow storms, windstorms, hurricanes and well what else you could think of, the martial law thing is sorta true to an extent, I think people just let us do what we do, because they want the lights on no matter what.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,995
Northern NH
Ice Storm of 1998 . . . I think we were without power for 14 days (although part of that time I was gone as I was at the National Fire Academy -- leaving my poor wife behind with one broken arm to keep the generator fueled and going -- long story, short . . . she trippped over the ATV plow in the dark that I had not moved.)

This was before we had a woodstove or a generator capable of running the entire house. Thankfully temps were on the mild side and we had an electrician friend who was able to wire up a plug so we could run the oil boiler off the small generator I was fortunate enough to buy. To be frank, this was one of the main reasons I eventually bought and installed a woodstove . . . the other reason being the $4+/gallon heating oil prices of 2008.
The Ice storm of 98 in New England was the big driver in New England, Quebec and possibly the maritimes. Large amounts of the power grid towers in southern Quebec collapsed. I think Montreal was down to one line out of many. Rural areas off the main lines were out for weeks and in some cases more than a month. Many of the US utilities had been under investing in tree trimming and rural lines while they made their money dabbling in big projects. Lots of folks suddenly realized they were lot more vulnerable and went with wood and generators. My guess is there was more backup equipment sold in the region than in preparation for Y2K a few years later. I was on the lower fringes of elevation. i lost half my hardwoods within a few days and the remaining 50% had major crown damage. I had fairly young wood with plenty of small trees that eventually moved in but in mature woods it changed them permanently.

I remember for a week after the sound of breaking trees. They were all covered with inches of ice and when one branch finally snapped it would fall down and start a cascade of limbs breaking. It was life threatening to go in the woods as one never knew when a tree would disintegrate. I helped a local hiking club reopen trails in section of woods that got it the worst, it was mature wood mostly sugar maples and other northern hardwoods and the tree tops and branches could be 10 to 12 feet high. We would have two sawyers and 10 swampers and as the sawyer cut into the tops, they would have to be very careful as when they cut one another one trapped by the weight may spring up.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,288
Eastern Ontario
In 1998 I was on the farm our power went out on the second day of the storm.
My Farms are on a dead-end road at the end of the line. No hurry for anyone to
fix it only 3 homes. We were without power for 32 days. That's when I had to
put big money out for a tractor powered Genset. We had 50 head of dairy
cattle that had to be milked twice a day and the milk kept cold. There was
more to do in a day than there were hours. The worst and most tiring month
in my life. Now all our farms (sons and homestead) are set to run for at least a
month on their own. Even though we are set for it ice storms scare the chit out of me
 
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