Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storm of the Century

So...it's been awhile. I've been really wrapped up in my photography lately.  I've been doing a 365 this year and it takes quite a bit of time every day. To keep up with my photos, you can check out (and follow!) my photo blog Views From a Small Town.

Okay, so with the apologies and plug out of the way, on to the Storm of the Century!

The Midwest was hit with what everyone has been calling the Storm of the Century. I'm not sure if it actually turned out that way, but it was a big storm. Some areas were hit with a blizzard, but for my little area of the Ozarks, we were mainly inundated with freezing rain. Luckily, it switched over to sleet, then snow before the ice accumulated to the point of taking down power lines.  That's not to say we are completely out of the woods. If the winds pick up enough, areas could still suffer power outages.

Severe winter storms affect the small towns differently than the cities. No worse, no better, but differently.

For those of us out in the sticks, severe winter storms can isolate us from the rest of the world. The plows don't hit the outer roads until the major roads have been cleared (sometimes until a day after the storm stops) and it can be weeks for the county roads to be plowed...if ever. County roads also keep the snow longer because the trees shade the road and keep the snow from melting.

Luckily, more of us have 4-wheel drive. Also, we know how to use it... Some people who live in the city have never used the 4-wheel drive in their SUVs. I no longer have a truck, but when I did, I would have my dad put a round bale of hay in the back to weigh it down prior to the storm hitting. 4-wheel drive doesn't mean more traction, just the ability to get out of the ditch if you slide off the road. The extra weight sure does help.

A lot of people in the country have gas to heat their house, and those who don't often have a generator to help power the necessities. I don't, but my parents do, so I have a place to go if my power goes out. Of  course, my dad would have to come and get me in the tractor, but still... Then there are all the wood stoves and fireplaces. To be fair, I'm not sure how many people in the city have options other than electricity, but I'm pretty sure most apartments run off electricity. Mine did when I was in college... Maybe that's were we have an advantage.

The stores are always packed before a storm. I'm sure that is the same no matter where you live. However, those who live in big cities (not the burbs) are close enough to grocers that stocking up isn't a necessity. When you live 10 miles from the nearest grocery...it's a must.

Also, if the power goes out, those in the country are the last to have their power turned back on. It's more important to get a neighborhood of 100 up and running, than to go out and make sure 5 houses out on one country road have power. I get that, but that is the way it is.

I spent two days before the storm prepping. I made sure that all the laundry and dishes were washed in case the power went out. I took out the trash, bought monthly groceries two days early, and filled the tank on the car. If the temps drop to well below freezing like they say it will (-12 is predicted), then I will leave my water running to keep the pipes from freezing.

At this point, the power is still on and I pray that it stays that way. I can't wait to go out tomorrow and brave the cold to take photos. Until then, here are some photos of what hit around my house today.


Christina Lin said...

I enjoy reading your blog- it gives me a glimpse of small town America. I live in Los Angeles and often dream about living the small town life. - Christina

Smalltown Girl said...

Thanks Christina! I have been away from my blog for awhile, but I'm hoping to get back to it. I think it is great for those that live in the city to see, at least a glimpse, of what small-town life is like. Especially those that think a "small town" is 30,000 because that isn't a metropolis. Try under 3,000 for us!