Getting Caught in an Ice Storm

A few weeks ago Southwest Michigan had an ice storm pass through the region. Now, it is not uncommon to have a lot of snow and ice in this part of the country, so this is no surprise. However, this particular ice storm knocked out power for estimates of 60,000 to 80,000 homes across seven Counties.

The Ice Storm in Southwest Michigan in February 2011 left tens of thousands without power for days.

Losing power in the warmer months is one thing, but losing it in February in Michigan is quite something else. My wife and I actually attempted to stay in our home for a couple of nights, hoping each day that power would be restored the next. We built a roaring fire in the fireplace, and camped out in our living room with blankets and shared a few glasses of Brandy on the first night.

It was not too bad, and we were fortunate to have warm water, so we quickly got ready in the morning and went out for a good breakfast at a local restaurant. There we ran into other couples who likewise were in the same situation, and some who had homes on well water were melting snow in their gas stoves in order to have any water at all.

This kind of thing kind of makes you pause and consider how dependent we are upon electricity in our daily lives. I normally work out of my home office as a Realtor, and I had to camp out from morning until evening at my brokerage office simply because I has no power on at home. The second night my wife and I stayed in front of the fire again, but the temperatures dropped outside viciously to ten degrees.

It was not a fun evening, considering the fact that we ran out of firewood somewhere in the night hours before dawn.

Ice built up and caused branches and entire trees to collapse on power lines all over Southwest Michigan.

 Not wanting to suffer a divorce by attempting to stay another night in those conditions, we spent the next two evenings at a local hotel.

In times like these when conditions were very hard, and my whole life was tossed upside down from the lack of power, I still took time to admire the beauty of the ice storm.

Included in this blog post are some photos, and also a short video that I compiled that week while in my hotel room. 

My power went out on a Sunday night while having dinner with some friends in our dining room.  It was not restored again until Friday morning.  It created one of the most challenging weeks in winter that I have ever experienced, and somehow I managed to stay busy with my work and get on with life.

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