Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

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Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:43 pm

I was going to put this in Natural Disasters but opted for Personal Experiences as this is going to be largely anecdotal. Mods feel free to move if you feel there is a better location.

For those not in the know the northeast, NH/MA specifically, was hit with a pretty major ice storm. Roughly 1 Million people without power, water and phones. I live very central to one of the worst areas hit, however I have electricity and services. I'm a slightly lower elevation here and most of the ice is actually gone. 15 minutes down the road is an entirely different story.

I got a call from a friend who was trapped in her driveway and needed help getting out. She had no power or water but plenty of cooking gas and firewood for the wood stove. So with chainsaw in tow I took the BOV to her BIL to see what I could do.

Most of these pictures are Route 101 in NH. This is a main east/west road that is 4 lanes wide in some areas.

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I had to turn back on this road as eventually I came upon two large trees completely blocking the way.

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Here you can see just how thick the ice is. Trees are literally exploding from the weight and cold.

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A trip that generally takes about 30 minutes to make took me about 1.5 hours. I had to back track a lot to find a passable road. I saw a gas station that had about 30 cars lined up to get gas. It was the closest one for 15 miles, most people were filling jerry cans for generators.

After spending about 2 hours with a chainsaw I managed to clear 4 trees from the driveway and 2 more that were threatening to fall across it. Then I helped clean out the fridge and move everything to a cooler outside. It is plently cold out to stop things from spoiling. For my troubles I was fed a nice pork loin stew and a few glasses of wine.

Some thoughts on being prepared and things that came in handy:

Water, Water, Water. My friend has a stream so non-potable water was plentiful. I brought a couple of gallons of drinking water I had on hand to get us through the night.

LED keychain lights. I had about half a dozen of them. They are so cheap and work so good most of the house was lit. These supplimented candles.

Chainsaw and a bow saw. Without them I wouldn't have been able to make it through.

Gasoline. Make sure you have plenty all the time. I never let my tank drop below half.

4-wheel drive vehicle, without my jeep I might as well have stayed home.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by mk_ultra » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:52 pm

Ice-Pocalypse !

Good write up and pics . I have been trying to talk the wife into trading in our car on a 4wd , and weather here lately coupled with this post has driven that need home even more .

Stay safe , man .

:D
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Jaybow » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:25 pm

reminds me of where I grew up in balmy NH

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Sig_Ocelot » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:20 pm

To steal a line from Tropic Thunder, "... but this time, it's different."

Cool pictures.
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Beanhead » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:07 pm

Sig_Ocelot wrote:To steal a line from Tropic Thunder, "... but this time, it's different."

Cool pictures.
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:34 pm

Beanhead wrote:
Sig_Ocelot wrote:To steal a line from Tropic Thunder, "... but this time, it's different."

Cool pictures.
Scorcher IV: Global Meltdown?

That's the one.

Its incredible out there still today. I met with Incident Command for two of the towns in an area hit pretty badly. We went over basically communication methods, radio, cell, data, etc etc. I went mostly just as a consultant to make sure all the ducks were in a row and that all their equipment could talk to each other the way they were expecting it to.

Afterwards I went out to some of the bad areas. I measured over a mile of downed telephone poles in one stretch. In some places the poles are hanging from the wires and not attached to the ground anymore.

Generators are all sold out in the area or off the back of some guys truck for a premium. There are people out and around everywhere. Most of the schools are closed for the week and there is talk of not starting up until after new years. There is also a very good chance that some people may not get power back until after christmas.

Overall I'm fine and I'm just trying to lend a hand where I can. I don't have a lot of strings or anything tying me down so I can be a lot more flexible with my hours than other people can.

Anyone else stuck in this I just hope they are being safe, watching out for downed/live wires, and trying to stay warm. Weather report says snow is coming and thats an issue because road crews can't plow the roads until the trees and wires are cleaned up.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Shmerlin » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:20 pm

Thats a hellova lotta ice...
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by HHaase » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:56 pm

Deja-Vu.

Looks just like it did in 1998 when I was upstate for a big ice storm.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:36 am

HHaase wrote:Deja-Vu.

Looks just like it did in 1998 when I was upstate for a big ice storm.

-Hans

That ice storm was by far much worse. Literally millions of people without power through NH,ME,NY, and Canada. Also it happened in January and following up the ice storm was a month of freezing cold weather and wind. The snow storms that followed it trapped many people inside. People were actually freezing to death in their homes or dying of CO poisoning.

This storm has caused a lot of damage for sure. Estimates are saying that half of the people are still without power. Some people might get power back in the next week or so. Most of the ice was melted within 48-72 hours after the storm. It was pretty cold out there last night and most of the water has frozen back to ice again making the roads a nice shiny sheet of danger. On my way in to work there was an accident with a mini-van on its side. There have been several accounts of CO poisoning and food poisoning in the area so far as well.

So far just another day in paradise. :)

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Broken1 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:01 am

Me and all mine, as of 1520 15Dec08, have power again. Now we're trying to help those that still don't. What a mess... LOVING IT!!!
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:25 am

Broken1 wrote:Me and all mine, as of 1520 15Dec08, have power again. Now we're trying to help those that still don't. What a mess... LOVING IT!!!

Excellent to hear Broke!

Right now I'm just sitting back and relaxing a bit. I've been going strong since friday afternoon and I'm just beat now. From the looks of things no one is expected back to work until Jan 5th, so extended vacation for me! After that it'll be breaking down the Incident Command Post and going over the after action reports to see what worked and what didn't.

So everyone out there stay safe and may the fates be on your side.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Broken1 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:03 pm

Yup, our clan has an after action debrief set for this weekend. Lot's to discuss. Much of it good things that happened that I would like to have a bit more formalized and documented. I want to do some recognition too. I got to think up a little something to give my 13 yo bro in law. He was amazing. It was like having a second pair of hands. I said it and he did it, none of the normal grumble and fuss. I was real proud of him. He's really growing up to be quite a solid young man. Once the power was back on, he was already thinking about next time and what could be done better... :mrgreen:
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by mr wolfe » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:09 pm

awesome pics, glad to hear that you're making out ok. Looks soooo pretty... kinda like a pit viper looks pretty. Haven't seen landscapes like that since moving to this side of the state :( . On the plus side, we don't get much for snow and ice here- when we do i have the roads to myself :D .
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by The Highwayman » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:53 pm

"Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)"



Damn! Here I thought you had some intel on some future disaster........ :( :lol:


Seriously though, glad to hear y'all are doing well (he says from FL where it was 81 degrees today..... :oops: )
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:46 am

DON'T TREAD ON ME wrote:Damn! Here I thought you had some intel on some future disaster........ :( :lol:
Seriously though, glad to hear y'all are doing well (he says from FL where it was 81 degrees today..... :oops: )

This will be going well into 2009 don't worry. Though I promise I'm no seer nor will I pretend to be.

Little bit of an update. More ice today along with a wintery mix and sleet. The road crews are not clearing anything except for the main roads. They can't get trucks through and there are still too many downed wires. This is going to slow down repair efforts some I'm sure and there is more snow coming this weekend as well. They are shipping in something like 200 telephone poles from Canada for PSNH because they ran out.

There have been a bunch of cases of CO poisoning and food poisoning still. The word just isn't getting out there fast enough to not run generators or propane heaters inside and don't eat potentially spoiled food.

A lot of people are on edge right now and patience is wearing thin. Couple that with the current economic crisis, christmas, and the added expense of not being prepared and having to buy new food, gas for generators or additional heating methods and you end up with a lot of twitchy people. Everyone has been working long hours, a lot of it in the dark without electricity or showers for almost a week now. And to be honest there are a lot of twitchy people who I always considred as questionable in the sanity department in this area.

Some things are still in high demand.

Any kind of fuel source and fuel tanks.
Generators.
Donuts. I kid you not every single Dunkin Donuts is sold out within an hour of opening.
Any kind of light source.
All battery types.
Toys for kids!!! I delivered about 50 toys to the local community center this morning for children in the area. I hope it makes their christmas a little easier.

Thats all for now, I have a few more pictures I'll throw up here sometime today.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Broken1 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:21 pm

Yea I'm asking people if there's anything I can bring back for them while I'm at work in Boston. :) I finished my small novel about my experience. I wish I had some pictures... I think I'll refer them to your thread. :lol:
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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:00 pm

Broken1 wrote:Yea I'm asking people if there's anything I can bring back for them while I'm at work in Boston. :) I finished my small novel about my experience. I wish I had some pictures... I think I'll refer them to your thread. :lol:

Great write up Broke. I'll throw a comment over there in a minute.

Here are some more promised pictures of the region.

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by Broken1 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:03 am

Thanks for giving pictures up. I didn't think to take any. Yours were used, hope you don't mind, when I explained to corporate that I didn't think it was right to charge me vacation time for being out in response to a natural disaster that resulted in a state and federal emergency. Prior to the pics they were under the impression that it was "some ice and a few places lost power for a little bit" :roll:
Broken1

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”

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Re: Ice-PAW 2009 (56k bad-ish)

Post by EeeNinja » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:44 am

Broken1 wrote:Thanks for giving pictures up. I didn't think to take any. Yours were used, hope you don't mind, when I explained to corporate that I didn't think it was right to charge me vacation time for being out in response to a natural disaster that resulted in a state and federal emergency. Prior to the pics they were under the impression that it was "some ice and a few places lost power for a little bit" :roll:
Not a problem glad they were helpful. We're running into a similar situation with staff as well. We're just writting off the days that we can and calling it a bust. But some people we can't write off. Employees who are paid by the hour are an issue right now. Everyone gets paid every two weeks but if you aren't on salary you need to do time cards. The storm happened on a pay week so everyone got a full paycheck on Dec 10th. But we were closed the 11th/12th and now through Jan 5th. So that means something like 17 days without any hours for those people. Long story short it will be Jan 21st before some people see a full paycheck. Typically the people who are on timecards are living paycheck to paycheck as it is.

Here are some images from work on monday. That fence used to protect 4 undeground propane tanks, thankfully it did its job and the tree didn't break any of the lines. The lightpole on the side used to be in the middle of the parking lot. The weight of the ice must have snapped it off by itself as there isn't a tree within 100 yards of it. The tree down on the wires is cutting power and phone/data lines to one of our offices.

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