Winter Storm Warning! How do you deal with ice storms?

@mentalward (14697)
United States
December 16, 2008 7:57am CST
We've just been placed under a winter storm warning here in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. We're getting a light drizzle of rain right now but it will be changing over to snow, sleet and freezing rain. The weather gurus are saying that we could get 1/2" of ice in the higher elevations and that's exactly where our house is... in the higher elevation! I know what 1/2" of ice can do... bring down power lines, tree branches, etc. You can't drive on it... that's completely out of the question! Have you gone through an ice storm like this? What happened? Did your power lines come down and how did you handle that if they did? We have a big old oak tree right in front of our house and one large branch has already come down from yesterday's winds. I'm concerned about more coming down once the ice starts accumulating on it. I know there have been quite a few storms like this so far this year in the U.S. and Canada. Have you had one this year? How about in the past? What happened?
2 people like this
17 responses
@winterose (39921)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
we had a blizzard here last week in montreal, but I didn't hear that anything bad happened though, this time of year people lose their homes due to fires and that is really awful, imagine being out in the cold at a time like this.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
I couldn't imagine! I know that's a real threat, though. People will do anything to stay warm and that can be hazardous unless they keep a close eye on any open flame! Luckily, here in our community, everyone is so helpful to everyone else, well, with a few exceptions. For the most part, though, people are willing to help out a neighbor in need. I have my son's home to go to if need be and he has a fireplace and plenty of firewood! We do have a pellet stove; I ought to check to see if we could burn wood logs in it. Pellets burn very hot but they also burn very quickly. I sure hope I don't hear of anyone's house burning down... or worse!
1 person likes this
@winterose (39921)
• Canada
17 Dec 08
oh good I am glad you have a way of staying warm even if you have to go to your son's house, that is a relief, if you ever see your breath in your own home get out that is dangerous.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
16 Dec 08
We did have an ice storm a couple of years ago. Power lines were down for like 2 weeks. We were only out for a week. We gathered candles up, and batteries and inverters. We stayed in the kitchen and dining room as there were no trees there. We used our gas grill in the garage to cook. We now have put a wood burner in the garage, and can go there to stay warm if we need to.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
The garage!!!!! Oh, thank you!!! I completely forgot about the garage! Yes, yes, yes! We could cook there as well! Hmmm, our garage is right under our diningroom and kitchen, too. Those are also our rooms that get the most sunlight during the day. We have plenty of batteries, candles and non-perishable food so we'll do fine if we lose power. I guess it takes experience before we really learn how to handle these types of situations the best way possible, huh? Even if that experience is the experience of someone else! I want a wood burning fireplace between our dining room and living room. It would be the perfect spot for it... one of those that are open on 2 sides. Maybe, after this storm passes, my husband will finally have one put in like he promised me LAST winter!
@annjilena (5621)
• United States
16 Dec 08
well when we had a ice storm last winter the power went out and after a while it was very cold.since we heat by electricity,and cook by electricity and our water is warmed by electricity.we had to go to a motel i thought it was going to be only for one night.come to find out half the county iswithout power.i was thinking only if i hadn,t gave away my space heater i could stay at home,whine up being in the motel for 5 days had to have my food in the freezer removed until i could get power.we had power lines down and trees down and road block we was in real ice storm.so finally after 5 days we had power again
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
WOW! Five days in a motel? That must have been sooooo uncomfortable! Well, I suppose it was better than staying in that cold house! Our heat is electric, too. Everything we have is electric except our water heater which is run by propane, BUT the well pump is run by electricity! We'll have "hot" without "water"! The longest I've gone without power was 4 days and that was after a hurricane, so it wasn't cold outside. It was actually very nice outside! I'm so thankful for that. Of course, keeping food cold wasn't easy but we managed. Cooking was fun because we used the grill but then, like I said, it wasn't cold outside. I wouldn't want to fire up the grill in sub-freezing temperatures! I'm a weather-weenie! I'm glad you came through that storm okay! I have visions of trees coming down and going through roofs. Living in the mountains is nice but there are so many tall trees!!!
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Y'all stay safe! I've never been through one. The one time Georgia had a bad storm/blizzard, we were living in NC. My husband has seen the aftermath of plenty of them though when going to help put the powerlines back up. I know it must be tough for everyone!
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Yeah, it's no fun, even just going through the worrying part! We may not lose electricity because a lot of our power lines are underground... at least the one coming to our house is. But, we have lost power before... only a few hours though. I'm not going out anywhere in this mess! LOL Don't worry! I'll drive in snow (if traffic isn't bad) but I refuse to drive on ice! I did that once because I HAD to but, never again! Nope! White-knuckled is NOT the proper way to drive! I'm glad, too, that my son, who works nights, is off for the next 2 days. Tuesday and Wednesday nights are his nights off. So, it's hunker-down time for my family. I haven't seen one single car go by today. I did see a flashing yellow light off in the distance; that was probably a snow plow or something like that, but nobody seems to be moving anywhere today! I'm glad because it means that more people would rather be safe than sorry.
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
16 Dec 08
It's been raining here the past two days, but we aren't expecting an ice storm. Our temperatures are too high. Going up in the 60's and 70's this week, which is very unusual - tornado weather! But I've been in a few ice storms. One was many years ago before I married. The roads weren't that bad, but the trees were all bent over with ice. We went to Atlanta, and on the way, you thought you were in winter wonderland and it was beautiful. But I know all the people out of electricity didn't think so. In 1993 when we had a big snow, there was an ice storm in Nashville at the same time. I was here at home and my husband was at work in Nashville. He got part of the way to our apartment, and couldn't go any farther. He said he had to park the truck in another apartment area about 2 miles from our apartment and walk home. He said it was terrible, and so many wrecks and people stalled and unable to get up that last hill before going to our apartment. He would never have made it up the hill to the apartment complex had he got that far.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
This weather is crazy, isn't it? Yesterday it almost hit 70 degrees here! I was so happy because our lake had started to freeze over but all the ice melted. Now, today... Geesh! I think nature always provides a positive to every negative... ice is treacherous but also beautiful! I keep thinking of the movie, Doctor Zhivago, when I think of ice storms. I don't know if you saw that movie but it has some of the most spectacular scenes with everything covered in ice! Beautiful!!! I got caught in a snow storm once and it took me 3 hours to get home from work instead of my usual 20 minutes. Traffic was horrendous! People were sliding all over the place (including me), stalled out or involved in fender benders everywhere! I almost didn't make it up a hill at one point but some kids (teens) were out there, helping people get "unstuck". My car was fishtailing (I had a Mustang at the time and they're notorious for having no weight in the rear) so they kept it from hitting the parked cars until I could get some traction to get up the hill. I almost ran out of gas, too! It was a miracle that I made it home. My mother walked to work once after we got about 3 feet of snow. She was a social worker and was part of the 'skeleton crew' which meant that she HAD to show up to help people with emergencies. There was no way anyone could get their car out from where we lived so, she walked. What a trip! I don't envy anyone who has to walk in that... snow or ice! I'm so glad to hear your husband made it home okay!
@AmbiePam (48646)
• United States
16 Dec 08
A year ago this month we had a very bad ice storm here. My power was out for four days, and some people in more rural areas were without power for two weeks. I had my parent's home to go to. My parents electricity was just out for one day. Unless someone has a fireplace, it is almost unthinkable as to how to get by. I mean it was freezing. I got out this morning and the ice was deceiving. As soon as I pulled out of my aparment complex I started sliding. It was early, so no one was around. And right after that the sleet came down. I'm stocking up on non perishable food items myself. I hope you guys don't get a really bad storm.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Thanks, Pam. I hope it's not as bad as they're saying, either! It's sleeting right now. Luckily, we have plenty of non-perishable food but we also have electric heat! We have electric everything except hot water. We have a tankless water heater that runs on propane. We'd have hot water until the water bladder empties out... we're on well-water and the pump runs on electricity. My office is run from solar power so I can use that to run our small fridge or microwave if need be. It's things like this that make me go out and buy more solar panels! My dream is to one day not be reliant on the power company at all. But, that ain't happened yet! I remember we lost power from a snow storm when I was about 10 years old. My entire family slept in one bedroom and pretty much stayed in one room during the day to keep as warm as possible. We had electric heat then, too. I'm definitely going to be looking into generators A.S.A.P.!
@caver1 (1765)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Arkansas has been hit by winter storms as well. It began yesterday and this morning every thing is white with sleet. Schools are out, so the kids are still in bed. And I have no plans of going to work today. I don't even know if the owner will be there, but she lives closer than I do and has said that she has walked to work before when the roads were bad. My husband's work has declared the incliment weather policy (meaning they can arrive 2 hrs. later then normal), but he plans to just take a vacation day and not risk getting out on the slick roads. We haven't had any damage with this storm. We still have electricity, so are quite comfortable. A number of years ago we did lose the top out of a tree due to an ice storm. Hope your oak weathers the storm okay and you and yours stay safe and warm.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Thanks so much, caver! Right now, it's sleeting like crazy! It just started coming down really fast and hard about a minute ago. We're probably getting that same storm system that you had. I doubt many people will be going to work today or they'll be coming home earlier than normal! I hope we "weather" this storm out okay, too! I just realized that everything we have here is electric! Well, except for the water heater. My office is run from solar energy so I can always unplug my computer and plug in our small fridge or microwave, if necessary. I'm glad you were able to keep your electricity! I think that's the worst thing that happens during these winter storms, unless you have gas heat or some other means of heating your house. Last winter we looked into getting a whole-house generator. I have no idea what happened to that idea! Oh, well... hopefully, it's not too late and we won't lose electricity, at least not until AFTER we get that generator! LOL Stay safe!
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
16 Dec 08
we have ice storms where i live (just on the northwest shores of lake ontario, in canada) but not as bad as other places. it scares me that we could loose power for weeks at a time (my freezer is pretty full). i guess we would go to my parents because they have a fire place and so we could stay warm and cook that way.
@mentalward (14697)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Well, it sounds like you have a really good plan, just in case! I'd love a fireplace myself for that very reason! Well, one of the reasons, anyway. My husband bought a pellet stove last year and it works great, but it has an electric starter! I wouldn't know how to get it going if our electricity went out, or even if it's possible! We have a fire pit but you can't use them indoors. LOL My office is run by solar-power so I could always unplug my computer and plug in our small refrigerator or microwave, if needed. I just hate everything being covered in ice! Right now it has just started sleeting in the last few minutes so everything is turning white with ice outside. I was HOPING we'd get snow first because it's much easier to get around when the ice is on top of snow instead of the other way around. Hmmm, everything we have here is electric except for our hot water. We have a tankless water heater run on propane so we'd have hot water, at least until the water bladder is empty since the well pump runs on electricity, too. Geesh! I guess we could put the fire pit in our pavilion by the lake to cook by. We also have our grills, both propane and charcoal, so cooking will be possible. It looks like I'd better start working on a better plan for things like this! LOL
@ahgong (10066)
• Singapore
18 Dec 08
Like I mentioned before, where I am, it is hot and toasty almost all year round. The only time it is not hot is during the wet and rainy monsoon season. So I will never get this problem with ice storms. I have seen it many times on TV though. The damages that ice can do! I sure hope this time around, things will not go so bad on your side. Maybe a little prayer will help?
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
17 Dec 08
We have not had anything like that this year yet, but we did last year. There were trees down all over the place. Ice at least and inch thick on my car and the porch. The power went out a few times, but it never stayed out for more than a few hours. School was canceled for days and my son was going stir crazy.
@oXAquaXo (607)
• United States
17 Dec 08
Two years ago, there was a huge ice storm here in Missouri. There was over 1 inch of ice, which is pretty bad. It started raining in the morning, slowly changing into sleet. By 10 a.m., it was coming down pretty bad. Our school district called it a half-day, and we left school early before the roads got too slippery. I had trouble walking from my bus stop to my house. The roads were so slippery! It was almost Christmas, so this one family that had a red ribbon tied to its mailbox. I felt the ribbon, and it was frozen solid! Our grass was frozen, too. The power went out the next day, after they called it a snow day. Our house is situated on top of a hill, so it's really hard for cars to travel up it during snow or ice storms. It was freezing outside, so we were doing our best to keep warm. Our friend, who still had power, invited us to eat at their house. When we got back, my dad managed to get the fireplace going. The next day, we couldn't stand the cold, so we bought an electric generator for $700. But thirty minutes after my dad got it working, the power went on again! We were pretty mad, but at least we can use it for next time!
@ladybug565 (2217)
• United States
17 Dec 08
We just had an ice storm last thursday although it wasent as bad as we expected except for some of the higher elevations. we are getting another one in the morning. The worst thing that ever happened to me durring an ice storm was the hatchback of my car shattered and had to be replaced.
• United States
17 Dec 08
I've been through a few ice storms.And actually I think they are real pretty just as long as you are not on the road driving. People down here in the south though you tell them there is an ice storm or we're getting snow then thats when all the people down here don't know how to drive. This morning we had some cold weather here and there were like 20 accidents in one day. But the news people said that there weren't any ice on the roads as they expected. But the people that put sand down on the road put it down and there was no ice and they are saying that is what caused the accidents. I don't know, but I love it when there are ice storms I just don't like to drive in it.
• United States
17 Dec 08
I know we just got hit last friday with a major ice storm here in New Hampshire and what a mess there still cleaning up from it and trying to restore power to alot of the residents. I lost mine but regained it back pretty quick so I have been letting frinds and family stay with me. There talking about another one comeing for us again this week grrrr....Just when the tough get's going the going get's tough. Everyone keep safe and hold on for another bumpy ride.
@littleowl (7157)
17 Dec 08
Hi MW the weather is meant to be changing here too soon and we will be getting snow blizzards from Antartica coming all the way down through Scotland Wales and then into England, so this weather I think is happening everywhere, the last time power lines etc went down where I live was many years ago of which I remember...hugs littleowl
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
16 Dec 08
Because I'm in a wheelchair, I try not to go out in them. It's bad for the chair and it's bad for me. However, tomorrow when we are supposed to have a really bad one I have to go out because I have to have my chair fixed and need to go to the doctors. I'm hoping the weather holds off until 3pm when I will be safe and back in my nice warm apartment.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
16 Dec 08
When I lived up north at one point we had a severe ice storm. We lost power for 4 days and it was so very cold. Plus our son was only about 1 at that time. Luckily, we had a fire place and lots of firewood. I knew the storm was coming ahead of time so I bought things that we could keep cool in the garage (all of our refrigerated things were put in the garage and frozen things out back on our deck), and things that we could cook over the fire - like hot dogs. I also knew that I could wrap up things in foil and place them in the coals at the edges to warm and cook. I guess my girlscout training came in handy back then. So for 4 days the three of us "camped" in our family room, eating and sleeping in front of the fire place. We played with our son, played board games or cards when he was asleep, and listened to music on our battery operated radio. I'll admit it was a LONG 4 days but we got by. Ever since that storm I learned, when winter is on the way I stock up my pantry. And I kept it stocked until spring. Currently I live in south Texas so we rarely get that kind of weather. But, the last couple of days its been very cold here too - for us anyway. Wind chills below freezing aren't the norm here for sure!