Last night, just a few nights after I got home for my first college Christmas break, a soft rain fell throughout the wee hours of the morning. The rain froze as soon as it hit any cold, solid objects, thus coating the entire town in over a half an inch of ice. Icicles line each cable of our clothesline out back; they run across each diamond and along the top of our chain-link fence.
The ice is beautiful, but it's a sinister beauty. The fact that there's a half-inch of the stuff means it weighs a ridiculous amount. My neighbors have a grand and quite mature tree in their front yard, which is at least 70 years old and stands over 35 feet tall. Well, not so much anymore. A great number of the tallest, grandest branches are now upside-down in the yard, and missed impaling the house's roof by only a few inches.
All day long, my dad's fire department radios have been squawking about power lines down all over town -- we considered getting out a map of the city and sticking pushpins in each location where a downed line or even pole was reported. I think that by now we'd have run out of either pins or space on the map.
To step outside is to subject your ears to a frighteningly loud chorus of sirens as crews scurry from one downed line to another, and of creaks and groans of branches and their coats of ice as they sway in the breeze. We have lost a few minor limbs and a bush in the backyard, but that's all so far. It's honestly a little scary knowing that at any second, my front porch could be crushed as a heavy branch above it succumbs to the weight of the ice.
Please pray that the rest of my family -- my Dad and my three older brothers -- can make it back to McCook safely tomorrow as planned, and that my front porch can be in one piece when they get here.
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