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Is Mother Nature mad?

December 24, 2008

All over the country there has been extreme and often unusual weather. Snow in Central Texas and Vegas?!? Here in the Northeast we had a record breaking ice storm the night of December 11th. By Friday morning the 12th, over 4000 homes were without electricity, mostly in the southern tear of the state. Our power went out at about 10 pm on the 11th, we got it back on the evening of the 15th.  Friday morning it took David and I several tries to find a road out of town that was not blocked by trees or downed wires so we could get to work. My usual 50 minute commute was 1 1/2 hours. This storm was followed by three snow storms (17th, 19th and 21st) for a total of about 2 feet.

Some homes in our area are still without power, they will have a dark Christmas. At one time there were 750 power and tree crews from far and wide to help restore power. Roads were impassable for days, schools have been closed and will not open until after the winter break. Some homes sustained damage from falling trees, cars were totaled and, unfortunately, people died. A 75 year old man refused to leave his home, fell and died of hypothermia on the floor. Some have died of carbon monoxide poisoning from generators and other portable heaters not properly set up or ventilated. Food poisoning was a common complaint of ER visitors (food spoils in a refrigerator in 4 hours). People stayed in shelters or with family but unfortunately some empty homes were broken into: copper pipe stolen from one and Christmas presents opened and some gifts taken.

Not all that has happened this past 2 weeks is bad. Neighbors helped neighbors (even ones they did not previously know). My father refused to leave his home (Mom came to stay with us – we have a wood stove and generator). Dad is 81, an old Yankee, who wanted to protect his home and did not want to move his two Siamese kittens. On day 3 of the power outage, a neighbor from up the street came knocking on the door, offered hot tea and the intermittent use of his generator. This man brought the generator over every afternoon for three days for several hours to warm the house, allow Dad to cook and shower. Their power was restored the evening of the 16th.

In one of the small towns not far from here, there is still no power in many homes. A very prominent business man (contractor) sent his biggest truck south to find as many generators as he could (no generators within a 50 (100?) mile radius). He parked the truck in his parking lot and offered the generators at his cost to anyone who wanted one. He did not sell them to make a profit, and I bet some families got one for nothing.

Shelters have been open in fire stations, town halls, schools and such. They are manned by volunteers who often did not have power in their own homes. Fire and emergency personnel have come from other parts of the state not as badly affected to help out so that our volunteer firemen and EMTs could go home.

The local hospital was on generator power from the 11th to the 18th (do you know how much gas that is?). The Wellness center was open 24 hours a day so hospital employees and their families could shower. The kitchen fed everyone who came in over the weekend for free.

The local store in my town found a generator to run the gas pumps. They lost a lot of perishables in the store, but the two women who run the store were out there filling gas cans and gas tanks well into the night.

I feel fortunate to have been able to stay warm and safe. We could not shower at home or do laundry, but my house did not sustain any damage. My family all weathered the storm pretty well. I feel bad for local businesses, they lost 7 days of Christmas sales and those that are already struggling will probably not survive.  

Here are some pictures:

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Trees missed my garden shed.

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Ice is at once both beautiful and destructive.

Here are a couple of images for comparison. The first was taken December 13th the second December 21st.

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I am sure there are more stories like this around the country, wild weather is being reported everywhere. I hope everyone is safe and able to celebrate the holiday of choice with family and friends.

“May all beings everywhere with whom we are inseparably interconnected,

be fulfilled, awakened, liberated and free.

May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe,

and may we all together complete this spiritual journey.

                                                             Mahayana Prayer

Peace and be well.

Cynthia

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 10, 2009 1:02 am

    Thanks for this post, I’ll have to keep it bookmarked so I can link it when some loony throws up on my blog.

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