What a week! As I have said several times, this Christmas storm will be one you will tell your kids, grandkids, etc. The chance we'll ever experience anything like that ON Christmas Day is slim to none.
I was scheduled to do Daybreak on Wednesday morning the 26th so I went to bed around 9 PM on Christmas Day. I woke up at 12:30 to look out the window and my jaw dropped to the floor. My backyard was plastered in a coat of white I have never seen before. It was beautiful as the snow continued to fall and the winds howled. I thought to myself that we'll be lucky to keep power. By 1:30 the electricity went out and I knew I would have to begin my journey into work.
Driving in the snow is no big deal to me since I did it in Missoula, Montana for 2.5 years. This was not going to be an easy commute in so I got moving right away. I told my wife to snuggle the kids up because I thought it would take a few hours for the power to come back on... boy was I wrong about that. Anyway, turns out the commute into work was going to be impossible. Trees down on the roads blocked my way out of the neighborhood. I called the station and photojournalist, Chato Wilson, jumped in his news car and met me a half mile down the road. That walk I will NEVER forget. I work out at the gym 5 days a week, but that still didn't prepare me for that hike. The snow was almost 10'' deep and drifts were higher. Add the wind and bitter wind chills, it was a struggle to climb a hill and make it to his car.
Once I got into the station, I started to realize power wasn't coming back on anytime soon at home. I only had a limited amount of firewood to keep my family warm. Once I got home from work, I built a fire and moved our king size mattress into the living room next to the fireplace for everyone to sleep. We couldn't go to my moms, brothers, or sisters house since they were in the dark as well. That first full night we managed to keep somewhat warm as the temperature in the living room held around 60 degrees with the fireplace lit. The next day I had to figure something out since the firewood supply was low and my infant son, Preston, had a cold and it was getting much worse.
Coincidentally, my wife's cousin was a guest at Good Morning Arkansas that morning on Thursday the 27th. He lives in Guy and offered to bring a bunch of firewood down. I said heck yeah!!! Family is the best huh? I offered to pay for the rick of wood, but he refused. He made the trip back to Guy and to Little Rock again just for us.
Also, a very good friend of mine, Kyle, had lost power at his house in Maumelle. He was lucky and it was restored within 24 hours. He took off from work to go get his generator and brought it over to my house. He connected it to a huge space heater and put it in the master bedroom. HEAT! We got it close to 70 in there. With the new firewood, the temperature in the living room made it to 64 degrees. We were set. I called my mom and sister and told them to come over.
Late the next day, my power finally came back on! However, even at the time I write this, the other side of my street doesn't have it. We have strung extension cords over to them and connected it to the huge space heater.
This storm may have caused a ton of destruction, but it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise in my opinion. It brought a lot of us together and created many memories. That's what family and friends are all about... helping each other in a time of need. Even though we know we can count on friends and family, it's very heart warming to actually see it happen and that's how we and many of you are getting through it. By the way, Preston still has his cold, but it's getting better. He turns 1 Tuesday. Wish he could remember this and see what his family and friends did for him.
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