Ice storm memories
Memory: I remember I was probably 13 or 14 and I was sick with the flu during the whole thing so I was completely out of it. We were living in this little shed in my yard because it had a wood stove because we had no heat or anything. We were out of power for 11 days and I remember us driving around having to go three hours into Vermont just to find a generator. We didn’t get one until about our ninth and 10th day and by then we almost had our power back. I just remember being sick and miserable.
What’s changed: We have our generator all the time now so we have it set up to just kick on real quick and we now have a wood stove in our house so we don’t have to worry about bundling up in a shed.
Memory: Well I woke up and looked out and it sounded like gunfire because all the trees were snapping off and my first concern was my 90-year-old-plus mother who lived about a mile from me. My sister, brother and I were taking care of her so that she could remain independent in her home. So I put my warm clothes on and went out, and no power. And I knew she didn't have any either so I went to drive and, seriously it’s nine-tenths of a mile, and I couldn’t get there because there was so many trees down. I turned around and went a different way and trees were down. I didnt want to call her because she would fall getting to the phone and we did finally get to her because my brother came from Keene and ... he did finally get to her. So she came and stayed with me but we didn’t have power until I think Christmas eve.
What’s changed: I have a great generator now and I crank it up about every four months just to make sure it will work and that’s how I prepare for another storm like that.
Memory: It was nasty and we had no power. That's all, nasty and no power. We live in New England, but there were people coming in from all over to fix the power lines because everything was shut down. That’s basically all I remember about it and I don’t want to do it again and that’s why a bought a generator.
What’s changed: Yeah I just bought a generator and I just don’t worry about it really.
Memory: It sort of seemed unexpected. Seemed like it just happened and there was a lot of ice, and I remember how shut down everything was and how everything came to a stand still.
What’s changed: Well we got a generator and it’s all set up to be ready to go just in case something like that happens again.
Memory: Well I drove from Peterborough to Brattleboro, Vt., to pick up a women who had come in on the train. It turned out she came in from California and she was going to Dublin, that’s where she and her husband lived. The drive home was horrible on Route 101, slipping and sliding and not good. But when we got to Dublin Lake, the ice had coated everything and it looked like a Christmas fairy tale and she was sound asleep in the back of the car. She was pretty tired. I woke her very gently and she opened her eyes long enough to see it, smiled and went back to sleep. I got her home safely and her driveway was covered in ice. We went up hill and after a few tries I made it. It all worked out.
What’s changed: I’m a Christian man so I have prayed. Beyond that I bought some ice melt and we have a snow blower that my son knows how to use. When I try to use it I cover myself with snow and that’s about all I do.
Memory: I remember that school was closed because I was a teacher then, retired now. My son and daughter-in-law had to move into our house because they had no power and we had no power but were all camping out in the family room because we had a little gas stove in there. We were able to cook because we had a gas stove and a gas hot water heater so we were able to have showers. Everybody camped out in the family room including their dog, cat and bearded lizard. The lizard got a prime spot in front of the stove because it had to be kept especially warm because we had no electricity for its heat lamp.
What’s changed: I don’t think we have done much to prepare for another ice storm. We have gas lanterns now and flashlights but we really have changed our preparations much.
Memory: Well, we were without power and we went to Keene, which wasn’t affected at all, and stayed in a hotel there. I think it was about 10 days, and we went back and forth to get a fire going and we bought a generator and made sure the pumps weren’t freezing. We ate out all the time, which was wonderful. I didn’t have to cook and stayed in a hotel room and watched TV.
What’s changed: Well we have a very nice generator and as soon as anything happens, that goes right on and we’re fine. We can get the oil burner going and we can cook.
Memory: I was in Jaffrey at the time. It was Christmas day when the power came back on and there was a crew from down south and there was guy who said I can’t believe you people live in this. He was like, ‘You got to be crazy to live here.’ It was a good Christmas present. I guess it was about three or four o'clock when they rolled in and put the power back on.
What’s changed: Well, at the time I didn’t have a chainsaw, so I bought one and I have a generator now which is a big improvement. Those are the two biggest things, being able to cut your way out of the driveway and at least have some power.
Memory: How shocking it was that so many huge trees had broken in half and standing outside it sounded like firecrackers going off. Trees just breaking. It was pathetic and it brought tears. It was frightening actually and we didn’t get out of the driveway for about two days and we didn’t get power back for 11 days. And thank goodness we had a generator because after three days I needed a shower really badly.
What’s changed: Well, we have a big generator now and that’s about all we have done and we have always heated with wood but the generator enables us to have water which is a big deal. It almost runs the whole house and just kind of cleared the driveway back a little bit and the trees were pretty far back from the house already so that wasn’t really a concern.
Memory: I live out on a dead end road, and I remember lying in bed and hearing the pine trees crash around the house and trying to figure out what room to be in to minimize our exposure to being hit by a tree. It was terrifying waking up in the morning and looking out. It was this horror show with the smell of pine in the air. I made the kids put their ski helmets on, being afraid we were going to be hit by something. We were without power for 13 days, so it was an adventure at first. Then it got grim, cold and dark. I got to know my neighbors in way that I had never known my neighbors before and there was something really sort of soulful about it all.
What’s changed: I guess I have more batteries in the house and I am more likely to fill up the water containers when I think we might lose our power but I actually haven’t done a lot. I still don’t have a generator but I have more wood because I ran out last time.