09 February 2009

First there was Fire ...

... and then there was Ice.

Waking up Wednesday morning, two weeks ago almost, was the strangest thing I've ever seen. Pete and I had both lost power (thus, the heat) and went to our friends' Tim & Rachel's. They, too, were without power, but at least they had gas logs and a lantern, so we piled in with them.

Pete was scheduled to work at 5, so he got up at 4, got ready, and quietly left the house.

He was back at 4:15.
"I can't even get down the street," he said. "There are trees blocking every road out of here."

By 4:30, he and Tim had on their winter gear and had fired up the chainsaw. So, of course I had to see for myself!

That darkness was smothering. There wasn't a single street light, porch light, or yard light to be seen anywhere. Blackness. Nothingness. Silence so loud it was deafening.

If you've ever been deep in a cave, you might understand. Literally, there was no light.

Pete and Tim went driving around town after they cut enough logs to get out of the neighborhood. Literally, the only two places with electricity were the two hospitals, and they were obviously running on generators.

Paducah isn't a huge town. But it's sizeable enough that somewhere should have had electricity. There was only the ice, the snow, the fallen trees, the silence, and the darkness.

I will never be able to explain what I saw. The pictures don't do it justice. The stories on the Weather Channel and CNN can't grasp for you what it was like. People called it a war zone. Others found clever metaphors for the devastation (my personal favorite was, "It looks like God took a weed eater to the tops of the trees."). Obama called it a major disaster. Paducah Power called it the worst power outage in history. Seniors called it worse than the flood of 1937 that destroyed this city.

The destruction was everywhere.

My very favorite tree in the back yard.

The covered porch on the neighbor's house that no longer exists.

I've seen my share of ice storms. But never anything like this. Tomorrow will be two weeks since the storm. Thousands are still without power. The food pantries are empty. It will be at least three months before the debris is removed from the streets.

I am exhausted.
First there was Fire,
and then there was Ice.

I am ready for Jubilee. I want to begin again.(Isn't this logo great? It's exactly what I had in mind! Jodie did it for us.)


Jodie Allen said...

the ice in that last photo is INSANE!!! holy cow!!!

and thanks for the link love! :)

Katie said...

Oh my word! That's so insane! I had no idea it was that bad!

Jubilee is coming! Can't wait to read those posts!!

Ferris Family said...

Those ice pictures are amamzing. WOW... Who would think something so beautiful could be so destructive?