Monday, February 10, 2014

At Times Like This...

At times like this it feels as though we aren't far from living in a third world country.

The snow began to fall Thursday morning and right around the freezing point. It brought cities to a standstill_ schools and businesses closed and pileups on major interstate highways kept people stranded for what must have seemed a lifetime.

Snowfall continued into Friday and with increasing volume_ well over a foot of the white stuff. Then we lost power. 

Freezing light drizzle turned into rain; boughs kissed the ground, branches cracked and trees fell from the burden of the icy mass. All life form remained hidden. 

Gleditsia triacanthos "Sunburst"
my favorite Himalayan birch
 Yesterday gave promise as temperatures teasingly rose. The forecast of rain never materialized. Would it really stay above freezing? 

The EPA says we can't use our wood stove, and the county says we cannot use our wood fireplace_ any visible smoke from a chimney will result in a fine and enforcement. 38 ° F and the thaw continues, albeit slowly. 

It is too much to hope that we have power restored today?


Larry said...

Oh Diane… I can relate to how you must feel… we seldom have serious ice damage, but that was not the case last April… so much damage and so disheartening. I will say this though, after much work, the mess was resolved and the plants that will never be quite the same again such as our large white pine, are now considered as having 'character'. It seems like things get just where we want them and then something like this can happen.. I had a friend with marvelous mature gardens who lost every tree to straight line winds a few years ago… so sad…. Larry

Rachel @ said...

I am so sorry that you are going through this. This winter as certainly been harsh on a lot of this country. I am confused about the ban on the wood stove and fireplace. Why can't you use your backup source of heat?

~~~jennifer~~~ said...

Wow! It just doesn't seem right that in such cold weather you can't burn a fire when the power is out. Thankfully, our power hasn't gone out in this bout of winter weather. But, we've been w/o power many times & if it wasn't for our wood stove we'd have been popsicles. Hopefully, your power is back on by now.

2 Tramps said...

Weather can really wreak havoc with gardens. We hit -27 in December and I fear that many plants will not make it back come spring. If we only could have had the deep snow we have now back then, it might have helped protect things a bit.

Susan said...

Oh dear. This is not good. Our whole country has been turned upside down with crazy weather this winter and it just seems to be going on and on. Be safe. Not quite sure how you are surviving and still comfortable. Hugs to you two.

HeatherF1 said...

Oh, Diana, I hope you get power soon.
I finally got out yesterday, and the damage to trees all over is bad. Oaks seemed to be especially hit. Very sad. It will be interesting to see what makes it through this winter.
I hope you can stay warm!

Big Dude said...

Definitely a different winter than the country has seen lately but I find it totally unreasonable that you can't burn wood where you live.

Rose said...

Oh, Diana, I hope that power has been restored by this time for you. This has been such a bad winter for so much of the country, but especially bad for those areas not used to such cold. It's been so cold and snowy here, but thankfully no ice storms--I've lived through some of those, and they're the worst. I was thinking the same thing as other commenters, wondering why you can't use your wood stove or fireplace. How do they expect people to stay warm?

Diana said...

Yes, thank goodness we finally got power back after 4 days. Thank you for your concern! And in response to a few who wonder why we can't burn wood:

Our county has banned ANY burning since November of last year. Additionally, the EPA has banned the production and sale of 80% of America’s current wood-burning stoves. Some states, including ours, have sued, saying that the EPA has not gone far enough!

We know this: electricity rates are climbing (5% increase for us began in Jan); power grids across the US are aged and stressed; nuclear and coal-fired plants are being closed (eight coal-fired in TN valley alone...and the environmentalists continue to fight against hydroelectric dams in the Pacific northwest_ they say the power generated by the dams is damaging the fish population.

So, the government rules.

Les said...

I didn't know that about the EPA and woodstoves, but it is one thing to have a fire for atmosphere, it is entirely something else when you need it to keep warm. Light up, I won't tell.