Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Winter Storm Story

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. 

Thanks for reading.  Share your story in the comment section if you like...


Tam said...

We got almost 14 inches of snow here but luckily we didn't get the ice Little Rock did, so our power stayed on. Though I do recall the 2000 ice storm and we were without power for 7 days. We managed to get both my parents and myself, my husband and our 4 year old son into a 15 foot camping trailer for heat. I was cooking on the BBQ grill or in the trailer as food started defrosting even though we packed ice chests and our freezer itself with bags full of ice broken off the side of the house. So I know how it goes. My father finally managed to slip and slide to a co-op that had propane space heaters and tanks. $1000 later we were all in our respective homes with heat. So I know the feeling. When we built our new home I made sure we had a fireplace and generator just in case!

Anonymous said...

I know a lady (a neighbor's daughter) who was scheduled to have a c-section on the 26th. Christmas night she went into labor. They called an ambulance, but it got stuck in a ditch. Second ambulance was stopped by downed trees, so they had to call a road crew to remove trees. In the meantime, she had to deliver the baby at home with no electricity. Her mother and a neighbor delivered the baby. Ambulance arrived 30 mins after birth. Both motherof and babyto girl are fine! This happened in the Coldwater Creek subdivision of Benton.

Anonymous said...

It appears that based on the votes in the poll, most of us are quite intelligent! It's always depressing to see the snow melt away, though.

Anonymous said...

We might get our wish for more snow! Bastardi predicts mid to late January for a "bitter arctic attack"!

Anonymous said...

My dad's vacant house was the only one out of all my family here in Little Rock to have power. He is 80 years old and cannot tolerate the cold temps so he and I "moved" to his house on Wednesday. I was forced to relive my childhood! My power came back on today and I am so glad to be back home.
I am now officially tired of winter weather!

Anonymous said...

Well, don't forget, us folks down south didn't get the monster storm!! We still want snow!! :(

Anonymous said...

Well, don't forget us folks down south didn't get the monster storm!! We still want snow we can play in!! :(

NOAA Winter Guidance