Monday, January 10, 2011

What a North Georgia ice storm can do.....

No, this photo is not sideways.  This was taken on the Appalachian Trail a few days after an ice storm worked its way through that part of the state many years ago.  Look closely, and you can see that underneath those horizontal branches there is a trail. Really.

I had four whole miles of this trail assigned to me to take care of.  Since I wouldn't drive in snow, a friend drove me up there over miles of dirt forest service roads so we could hike my section, see what the damage was. I think this is the only photo that survives the day, but this is what we encountered all day as we walked.  Not all this bad -- some worse.  But there was debris everywhere.  We cleared what we could by hand -- physically picking it up and moving it off the trail -- but some, like this, demanded a saw and we had to make a second trip to get those.  Snow was everywhere, although you can't see a lot of it here.

I think we covered about 2 of those four miles, but with all the clearing it was slow progress and we eventually had to turn back.  Plus, my friend got a big gash above one eye as a branch flipped the wrong way and caught him.  We were afraid at first that it had caught his eye, and with the flowing blood I really couldn't tell.  Finally, I scooped up a big chunk of snow and held it to his brow to stop the bleeding so we could see what the damage was.  I promise you, that was the last time I went into the woods without carrying butterfly bandages!  We had to stop at the ER in Dahlonega on our way back to Atlanta so he could get stitched up.

We had some 'icy rain' awhile ago, but it seems to have stopped now.  From all I hear on the radio and various weather sites, the worst of it seems to be over.  I haven't had an email cancellation of the severe weather watch, but it just doesn't look as if it's going to be as severe as previously forecast. Thank goodness!

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