Hi folks, I’ve been watching the winter weather hit the Triangle overnight and around 6AM it was nice snow out there, perhaps 6″-7″ around 4AM.

And then the wind started howling…and around 6AM the dreaded sound of sleet started. It’s about 30 degrees (13 with wind chill) and we definitely don’t need an ice storm, but that’s where we’re headed here in the middle of NC. The snow is starting to compact down into ice, and the trees have icicles forming on them. We have several trees in our backyard that are pretty close to the house, so we’ll be watching them — there are pines and hardwoods; the pines don’t fare well during these storms, neither do pin oaks.

The last ice storm occurred when I was still living in Old West Durham, home to very large and very old (100 years old +) pin oaks that provide a beautiful canopy of shade down Club Boulevard in the summer. However, in an ice storm, the huge arms of branches laden with icicles become car crushing, home destroying terrors. Kate and I, along with other neighbors, took a slippery walk the next day to see the beautiful frozen trees. Of course this is a terribly dumb thing to do, given these branches could drop at any second, killing you, but we had to see it. With all the traffic ground to a halt, the silence and beauty during the walk were breathtaking. Until we rounded a corner onto Club and saw a small Craftsman-style bungalow with a real estate agency “for sale” sign in the front yard — and an entire pin oak crushed into it. As in it practically totaled the entire house; not just a room, but the whole damn house!

And then we made it back to my former home, since I had not one, but three huge pin oaks in my yard, including one in the backyard so tall and with enormous circumference, it could take out my house and my neighbors’.

I don’t know what will happen tonight, but if we here the transformer blow a couple of streets away, then we know the power’s going down. It’s supposed to go down to 13-15 degrees tonight, so it will all freeze up. In this neighborhood, the electrical is underground, rather than on poles as it is in the downtown neighborhoods, so we don’t go out as often, but there will be lots of outages at this rate.

If you don’t see any posts, tweets or FB entries today, you’ll know why. I probably have a couple of hours of battery time and my broadband card to go online once the power goes down, but after that, it’s really lights out…

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

9 Comments