Wow, what a crazy weekend. You might have assumed, and correctly so, that as residents of the Hudson Valley we got whalloped with this ice storm that apparently was all over the news. It started on Thursday. School was cancelled and it was cold and rainy (resulting in ice). Thursday night around 8PM our power went out. Now, our power goes out with some regularity in poor weather, so that was no surprise. What *did* surprise me was waking up around 3:30 a.m., still no power, and hearing a chain saw outside. A tree in front of our house had uprooted and fallen across the road. They were clearing it out. This is the tree in the morning.
When everyone was up shortly after 6 and we still didn’t have power, we decided to head down to Stewart’s (provided the roads weren’t slick) for some coffee, donuts, and local gossip. The roads were wet, but not icy at all and the Taconic was in relatively good shape. Props to the Dutchess Co. road crews who were working their tails off! I know they were trying hard to make things safe. Down at Stewart’s we learned that the entire northern part of the county was without power and all but one school district was cancelled. This did not sound good.
We went home, ate, and I went outside to take photos. Shortly after 9 I started to freak out a little. Thirteen hours with no power. Our wood stove was doing a good job keeping the house comfortable, but without power, our well can’t pump so we had no water. Oh, and I had an OB appointment at 4. I decided to take a chance and see if there was any way they could fit me in earlier and thank goodness, they squeezed me in at 10:30! We made the command decision that everyone would go to the OB’s and after that we’d high-tail it to my parents’ in WMass since the power situation here was not looking good.
Driving along was fine until we hit southern Columbia County (right above us — where Lisanne lives). The Taconic was just ridiculous. I don’t think a road crew had even set foot on the highway. For mile after mile we slalomed between trees hunched over the road, heavy with ice. It was beautiful, terrifying, and ridiculous all at once. I only wished I had kept my camera with me instead of putting it in the trunk. Once we made it off the Taconic, we saw three or four police cars blocking the entrance on the other side. Later we’d learn that they closed it off! We must have made it out of there just in time.
At any rate, we made it to Palmer and had a nice visit with everyone. Saturday morning I called the NYS Troopers to check on the Taconic and it was still closed between Rte. 199 and Claverack, so we stayed another night. That worked out because we got to visit with my brother and his wife and had a lot of fun chit-chatting and playing Wii bowling and tennis. Sunday morning the Taconic was still closed off. We decided to take 87 and get lunch out — ya know, just in case we need full bellies for the night, LOL! As it turned out, staying that extra night was a good thing. Our power didn’t come back on until Sunday morning around 11! That’s over 60 hours without power! Wild.
We were lucky that we had a warm, cozy place to go and that the trees around our house were far enough away that nothing was ever in danger of falling on our roof (some people around here weren’t so lucky!). I’ll leave you with my favorite photo. A few weeks ago, my pussy willow bush started to bud and bloom with the warmer weather we’d been having. I love this shot of one of the flowers encased in ice: