Friday, December 16, 2016

Ice Storm 2016

In our front yard.
Not sure the news has gone country-wide, but Eugene was hit by a nasty ice storm overnight on Wednesday/Thursday. Power went out during the night (tho I had enough to brew coffee around 3:30am Thursday, for awhile) and just came back on late this afternoon (Friday). Damage is area-wide and shocking to see. I got out yesterday a couple of times, and again today (had to hit a Starbucks for my coffee/internet fix!), and the number of big trees/limbs down is impossible to even describe. Much worse even on neighboring properties than ours. Several trees down on our property, but the building wasn't damaged, thankfully. The lack of power hasn't been fun -- no heat, cooking, hot water, elevators, etc -- but other than being a bit irritated by this morning, I got along just fine. Temp inside this apartment didn't drop lower than 61F, which isn't bad, considering. Others, those more fragile or on electricity-produced oxygen, were able to go stay with family, but many were stuck here, like me.

I didn't realize just how 'antsy' I am until I had nothing to do to fill the hours. Walked outside several times each day, when and where it was safe to do so. Drove out twice Thursday, once Friday. Maybe the best part was sitting downstairs in the lobby, or other gathering places, and chatting with/getting to know some of the other residents.

Interesting drone video taken Friday by a local newspaper photog, here.

Backside of our property in the parking lot, at trash collection spot. I went for a walk around the property as soon as it was light enough, staying on grass to avoid the thick ice on the pavement. The ice was beautiful, but dangerous. Interestingly, I made it out to my garden bed Friday and while the white row-cover was frozen solid, I could get my hands under it in a couple of places and the greens I touched (spinach and lettuce) were happy as can be. Not frozen, not dead. Just perky and crisp as they should be. Cool how that stuff works.

Street in front of building, early morning Thursday.

Our front terrace. This is what my apartment overlooks, and I heard the constant swish and crash as countless branches/limbs fell as darkness descended Wednesday night. The rain/freezing rain had been steady all day, though pavement was just wet, not icy, and I went for a couple of walks, in the rain. But by evening, the weight on trees was getting to be too much. It was a little nerve-wracking, though I don't have any large trees near enough to my apartment to hit it. A neighbor called me around 9pm Wednesday and told me of the tree down in the parking lot, said a tree had come down near my car and wondered if I wanted to move it. But, as I told her then, there was really no place to move it where it would be any safer. The parking lot is lined with trees. Big ones. Fortunately, my car stayed safe.

I went for a walk around the ponds Thursday morning, not risking walking that far on pavement, but driving and parking in the gravel lot. Both footbridges along the trail were solid ice, but I got across both, in both directions, with no problems. Slowly and carefully.

It was so overcast and cloudy on Thursday that everything was flat and monochromatic aside from a few small bits of nature.

This guy was in his 'usual' spot near the far end of the trail.

By Friday morning, the sun was shining and things were a bit more interesting.

The wires of the bike bridge were also icy and shiny, which looked great. Nothing escaped the ice!

So that's it. Twenty-four hours of life in an ice storm in Eugene, Oregon. Not much has changed since this morning, either. Some ice melted, but things are still basically very white and it's dropping into the teens tonight. I'm glad to know my neighbors in this building all have heat and hopefully, hot food to eat.


  1. Dramatic, thanks for the beautiful photos. I like the photo of the heron, patiently sitting through this latest wonder that nature has delivered.

    I moved west to escape winter, but it's been unusually snowy and cold for a couple weeks. However, it will be gone soon. The Dude abides.


    1. Hi, Jane. Glad you enjoyed. Fun walking around out there, though walking across two ice-laden footbridges the first day was a bit dicey. I was surprised to see the heron. He's normally in that spot, but was the only one I saw both days, and usually I see several. Maybe he's young and didn't know where to go? Or, just hungry!

      Lots of ice left. Some fell off/melted yesterday, but it barely shows. And it's still below freezing, so not likely to happen soon today.

      Did you move to Victoria or some such? That's the only place in Canada I can think of that wouldn't have snow in winter -- or, in my perception, anyway.

  2. Yes, I'm back on Vancouver Island, after a long time in Alberta. I'm a couple hours north of Victoria, in a winter rental on the slopes of a mountain, and there's been heaps of snow for a couple weeks now. I'm waiting until spring to find a long term home, and will definitely move closer to sea-level! I'm used to being close to everything and able to walk, but I much prefer a village to the city. Rentals and real estate are going through a crazy patch right now, I'll see if it settles down in the spring.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas in your new home, with your new cat.


  3. I've only been to Vancouver Is. once, but it was beautiful. Flew up private with friends from NorCal to Victoria, hopped a seaplane to Saturna for a weekend, returned via ferry to Victoria. All truly beautiful. I lived in San Juan Islands for a couple of years and could actually see Saturna from home. That was cool.

    Hope you find a rental you love come spring. I can certainly understand the urge to live there.

    Happy Christmas to you, too. The cat and I are getting along pretty well, for the most part. She's alternately sweet and feisty. Typical cat, in other words.