lamps2.gifICE STORM 1998 lamps2.gif


Source: The USA TODAY Weather Book

How winter storms bring rain, ice and snow

Winter storms normally bring ordinary rain, freezing rain and sleet as well as snow. All extra tropical storms are a mixture of warm and cold air. In parts of the storm, especially the areas ahead of a warm front, warm air is flowing over cold air near the ground. The result is a layer of air that's above 32 degrees Fahrenheit between a layer of colder air near the ground and a layer of colder air higher up. Precipitation that begins as snow in the higher level of colder air melts into rain in the layer of air that's above the melting point of ice - 32 degrees F. In places where the warmer air extends to the ground, the precipitation will fall as rain. If the layer of cold air near the ground is relatively thin and if things on the ground are below 32 degrees, the falling rain cools below 32 degrees but doesn't turn into ice until it hits something - this is freezing rain. When the layer of cold air is thick enough, the falling rain freezes into ice pellets, which are generally called "sleet." In places where there is no layer of warm air, the snow falls all of the way to the ground as snow. Often, rain, freezing, rain and snow fall on the same places as a storm moves by.     

This ice storm started Monday, Jan. 5th but it reached its peak on Jan. 8th.  We lost our power at 2:00 am Jan. 8th.  Before that occurred I had been listening to the police scanner and it was very frightening to hear all the lines going down, electric entrances being ripped from peoples houses, trees uprooting, and transformers exploding.  I opened my door and listened outside.  You could hear the trees crashing and it can only be described as sounding like gunshot off in the distance.

I awoke the next morning to the news <from a battery powered radio> that our area had been declared a State of Emergency.  Many have called it the worst winter storm Northern New York has ever seen.  It covered the entire area with a heavy coat of thick ice <2 1/2 inches thick>, snapping power poles by the thousands, dropping lines, and killing power everywhere.  More than 110,000 people lost power in the 7,000 square-mile area of Northern New York. Many people compared the eerie setting to a zone of devastation or war-shelled area.



My area was one of the fortunate ones to get our power back quickly. When our power came back there were still 87,342 people without any.   It was restored at 7:17 pm Jan. 12th but unfortunately we lost our phones again so were unable to pass that news on to our loved ones.  Even after the power was restored everyone still was uneasy and wondering if it were going to last.

iceus.jpg These Photos are (AP) Pictures canice.jpg

I was able to take some pictures from my windows.  These were taken from various windows. I thought they might be of interest to you.


Ice Storm a ripple in life for North Country Amish

NORFOLK (AP) - Miles from the buzz of utility workers and National Guard vehicles, oblivious to downed power lines and the aftermath of a major disaster, the only noise outside the Graber home is children's laughter and a distant rumble of the raging Raquette River.

Countywide state of emergency or not, it's just another Saturday for Alvin and Lovina Graber.  The chores are done by 11 a.m., the bread has been made, and there's time to relax.

Outside, eight of their nine children skate along rolling hills surrounding a 28-acre farm off County Road 38.  The youngsters have appreciated Mother Nature's surprise all week long.  But they haven't been allowed to miss school.

Inside, nobody is complaining that the cable television isn't working or that phone service hasn't been restored.  They don't believe in such luxuries.  The family is thankful that is links to the outside world -- a mailbox, horses and a roadside sign:  "Fresh Bread every Thursday" -- were unharmed by the ice storm.

Pointing to a wood-burning stove, Graber says his routine will not change.  He embarks upon a massive wood-chopping campaign every other year and, actually, the mild temperatures during the storm have been kind to his supply.

Mrs. Graber canned a cupboard's worth of food last August.  There are enough vegetables and other goods to last them until next summer.  And her business doesn't slow down for ice.  If there's fire there's bread.

"The only thing that's different is we can't leave our animals out," Graber said, his smiling children huddled behind him in a dark doorway.

After the first round of freezing rain fell, Graber secured the barn to make sure his animals wouldn't be pelted by blowing ice.  He cleared fallen tree limbs on his property right away, keeping in mind that there will be more than enough things to do on the farm after the snow
melts.  Bad road conditions do not disrupt this family.  They don't travel much this time of year, anyway.

Although the Grabers are in many ways isolated from the rest of the world they're good neighbors.  They checked on a family down the road after the power went out, making sure everyone had enough food and water.

"My advice? Mostly, plan ahead, yes.  Always have enough water and food.  Get some kind of generator for heat.  We use kerosene for our lights," said Graber, 31.

While their frustrated, cold neighbors camped in front of portable radios to find out when and where kerosene would be available, or whether Sears had generators left, the Grabers had stocked up on the necessities long ago.

A Norfolk native, Graber moved to the Midwest in 1983 to spend time with friends and his wife's family.  The family returned to northern New York two years ago.

"I wouldn't want to have this (ice) every winter," Graber said with a laugh.  "But it's better here.  Down there they have tornadoes and hailstorms."

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