Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another Ice Storm

It was bad here in Washington, but it's been much, much worse in the midwest, where they had so few trees to shelter and protect them. This reminds me of the blizzards in the 1800s where so very many died. A friend of mine in Missouri managed to get to a connection to update us.

Hi everyone, I am just checking in. We still have no power and we were told yesterday that it could be another 10 days. We also have no land line phone, and no internet. We do have a generator, so we aren't suffering too bad. But we have to drive 20 miles for gas.

This has been bad. Very bad. Seven people have died in my little neck of the woods. Out of 4000 people, less than 100 have power here in town. Several thousand in the rural areas are still down. My folks are still out and I have spent most of my time on the farm trying to take care of stock. We can't pump water so we have to break the ice loose from the ponds. Dad and I have lost 17 head of cattle between us, about $34,000.

We have no trees left, none. Those that are still standing have to be cut down. We have roof damage and damage to one of our cars.

This has been so surreal. The National Guard is everywhere. Houses are burning down. People are carrying guns with them, including us. Twice someone has tried to steal our generator, while it was runnning. People are stealing cattle. People are looting. It is just crazy.

We are forecasted 4-6 inches of snow tonight. Joy. I'll post pics when I re-join civilization again.

Preparation is so important. Coming from the hurricane coast, its second nature to me; we understand that Mother Nature is a Bitch who barely tolerates us. The rest of the country is literally being taken by storm and it hurts me to see how many people are just....clueless. I want to belong to a society that knows how privileged it is. We can't rely on the grid and the layers of commercial infrastructure to be there for our families in the face of true national emergency. Even blaming the government with incompetence or ill-judgment doesn't cut it. It doesn't take bad intentions on the part of a municipality for you to be completely self-reliant for quite some time. The government is neither our parent nor our babysitter. It has a role to fulfill, but ours, when it comes to caring for our own, is much more principal.

It's so difficult to tell, for me, whether this is a cyclical event or whether it's the beginning of the BIG cycle. We've had weather like this before in cycles of history, and I comfort myself with that, but those events did not coincide with giant chunks of ice falling into the sea at both poles. I am a true water baby, and I am concerned. The seas have changed. The little creatures that helped a Coastal Carolina child match the seasons have gone.... GONE: the hot autumn glow of lightning bugs, the spring cicada swarms, the deafening chirping of the summer tree frogs, the march of the fiddler crabs right down the street to the other side of the neighborhood. Here in Washington, the salmon are having serious trouble. Even here.

In the large "pro" column of moving to Washington was the greater potential for sustainability in the face of cataclysm. I hope never to have to rely on our sense of self sufficiency. We did better than a lot of our neighbors, but in my mind, we are not nearly as prepared as I would like. The garage, which is untidy-- not an impassable dumping ground, but somewhat chaotic at the moment-- looks different to me. I want the camping and fishing gear easily accessible. Tidiness is no longer an aesthetic for me, but part of taking care of my family in a very real, protective sense. That's a life change.


  1. You know I know exactly where your coming from being from the land of Hurricanes. And that is one thing that Rob and I hope to achieve is the ability to take care of our family from our means if anything should happen. I am glad you made it through well and sorry to hear about your friend, it definately has been an oddity this winter.

  2. WOW! You blogged about me. I am so humbled.

    Be prepared for anything, today's ice storms are tomorrow's Teamsters strike. You just never know.