It’s sorta fun, I guess, to see pictures on Facebook of people’s kids innocently and gleefully playing in the new fallen snow; oblivious to the disaster that has befallen the entire city of Sioux Falls and surrounding area in the form of an unprecedented downpour of ice from the heavens. Like waves of honey it kept coming down sticking to everything. The sheer weight of it exposed the weak spots of even the most stately trees causing huge branches to rip from their moorings and come cascading onto rooftops, vehicles and power lines. Some remain attached and aloft but broken and mortally wounded waiting for the final insult; a gust of wind to send them crashing below to join the others. When I look outside, especially our property, I can’t help but think of how the Ardennes Forest looked during the Battle of the Bulge when a relentless barrage of German artillery caused the pine trees to explode while trying to blast our boys out of their fox holes.
As I write this, a utility truck that was stopped in our neighborhood, has disappeared without checking our backyard and removing the big branch that fell across our power lines so they look like two big “V’s” inches off the ground. We have a “partial” outage..meaning electricity works in about half the house which does include the furnace, refrigerator, TV and internet but not the stove, microwave, washer, dryer and half the lights. I’m told, this is either not that unusual in situations like this or an extreme fire hazard and we should unplug everything and get the hell out. Like that old guy, (Truman..in think his name was) who lived in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens, we’re not leaving. I hope our outcome is better than poor Mr. Truman who ended up buried under a pile of forest trees sent flying for miles by the velocity of Saint Helen’s eruption.
There now, I’ve compared our situation to deadly volcanoes and big World War II battles which isn’t fair, I suppose, but illustrates not only the exasperation I feel about what has happened but the frustration and apprehension I..and thousands of others.. .have about how were going to deal with the aftermath. There’s no way Linda and I can move these big branches off the roof and yard..which will have to wait anyway since there’s a danger of electrocution until somebody shows up from Xcel. I’m still not clear on what the mayor meant by the city disaster declaration? If it’s nothing more than the city picking up branches that you’re responsible for dragging to the boulevard..well, that’s not much comfort to the widow lady sitting alone in the cold and dark waiting for help.
I just wonder how this is all going to play out. How long is the tree trimmer’s list of desperate customers? Will our majestic trees survive or need to be leveled? Will my insurance cover the roof repair?
Hopefully, I’ll have some answers when I join you again next Tuesday unless I was wrong about defying the home evacuation warning and learned a fiery fatal lesson about the hazards of partial power.