Surviving the Ice Storm and Earthquakes

I haven’t posted in a little while, so I apologize to the one or two readers I may have.  ;)  I plan to let you in on the Valentine’s Day/painting the living room stories pretty soon, but first I’ll need to give you a good logical excuse for leaving you high and dry with no reading material!  My fingers have been completely frozen from Winter Storm Pax.

Image coutesy of AccuWeather.com

Image coutesy of AccuWeather.com LOL at “not as cold.”

Yep, I’m blaming it on the weatherman.

Damn you, George Myers.  Image from WJBF.com.

Damn you, George Myers. Image from WJBF.com.

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: I live in Georgia.  To expect any semblance of normalcy in the weather around here is to be a fool.  It might be 70 degrees in the dead of winter, well over 100 degrees in the height of the summer, or both in the same week at any time of the year.  I’m used to that.  It’s humid enough around here to melt my make up completely off my face, yet we’ve been in a drought for nearly a decade.  I took a meteorology course in college with a disclaimer at the end of the syllabus that read, “We will be studying common weather trends in this course.  At no time is it expressed or implied that weather is 100% predictable, especially in Georgia.”  Got it.

A week or two prior to this major ice storm, we had a huge snowfall. I’m not one to go outside and play in any type of weather, including snow, but it was white and fluffy and beautiful and everyone enjoyed having a couple of days off work and out of school.  When Nick told me that we’d be getting more wintry weather soon, I didn’t believe him.  After all, we had been told to prepare for some serious problems with the first snow storm and it didn’t turn out to be a big deal at all.  Boy, was I wrong.  Winter Storm Pax (I didn’t even know they named winter storms.  #southerngirlproblems) came in with a vengeance.  I even heard a rumor that Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel was in Augusta filming.  (I guess it’s true, but I don’t watch The Weather Channel.  That’s the kind of reality TV that’s just too much “real” and not enough “drama.”)

TWC's Cantore in Augusta with Commissioner Joe Jackson.  Image from chronicle.augusta.com.

TWC’s Cantore in Augusta with Commissioner Joe Jackson. Image from chronicle.augusta.com.

It was all fun and games for a while.  Taking some time off work never hurt anyone, after all, especially not newlyweds who never seem to have enough time together!  Despite the icy roads, we had a few emergency meals on hand (chips and dip, Lean Cuisines…things that young people who don’t cook eat), and things were nice.  We watched TV shows and had the heater running and couldn’t have asked for a better ice storm…until…

My parents had texted to ask if Nick and I still had electricity early in the “storm” and told us that their’s had been out all day.  Unfortunately, the roads were iced and they live a fair distance away, in South Carolina, so they couldn’t come by and enjoy our heat (and cook for us…hehehe).  A few days later though, we lost electricity too.

Our dog, Bandit, in her cozy sweater on our bed.

Our dog, Bandit, in her cozy sweater on our bed.

Nicholas and I, for the most part, were totally unprepared.  We hadn’t gone to the grocery store to stock up on milk and bread (what do people do with those two ingredients, anyway?), and we certainly didn’t already have anything to eat in the house (#tacobelladdictsanonymous).  So when electricity outages paralyzed all of Columbia County and most of the surrounding area, we starved.  Just kidding, but we really didn’t have anything to eat.  I will never forget my poor panicked husband’s face when he called every pizza joint in town to find that none were open.

This isn't my husband.  Image from minddisorders.com.  (Really.)

This isn’t my husband, but it pretty well captures the moment. Image from minddisorders.com. (Really.)

Our sweet friends, Julio and Amber, invited us to their home just a few miles away.  They had electricity because their power lines are underground, so we packed up a few essentials and braved the iced roads to get to them.  In the two mile drive to their neighborhood, the truck slipped and fishtailed a couple of times, but we got there safely to find that they were enjoying a typical day cleaning their house.

Soups!  Just add water and heat.

Soups! Just add water and heat.

Amber welcomed me to make myself at home, so I got out the soup mixes I had brought from home.  We bought these in November at a craft show, Christmas Made in the South.  (We purchased these from a vendor called Bridget and Pauly’s Gourmet Soups and Dips.)  Julio suggested I make the white cheddar potato soup, so I did.  I added six cups of water and simmered it for 25 minutes and just like that we had a nice, hot meal.

Soon, some of Julio’s and Amber’s friends showed up with their two kids to seek refuge as well.  When Nick got a text message that the power was restored in our neighborhood, the guys all decided to go check it out.  They were gone for what seemed like a very long time before he returned to tell me that the power was still out and we’d need to plan to crash at Julio’s house for at least a couple of days.  I tried to hide my disappointment, but I didn’t have my own clothes, make up, shampoo, or anything else that I “need” to be able to survive!  He let this go on for several minutes before revealing that the electricity had indeed been restored and we could head home.

The other guests weren’t so lucky.  I think they crashed with J & A for most of the week.  My parents also weren’t so lucky.  They were without electricity for about eight days I think, and are still trying to get their lives back on track.

Meanwhile, Nick and I didn’t have cable or internet.  We watched The OC on DVD and I love that I love a man who loves The OC.

Image from thevalleypsu.com.

How cute is Ryan Atwood?  Image from thevalleypsu.com.

At some point, we even had a 4.1 earthquake shake us up.  It was felt as far away as Texas and Virginia, but the epicenter was in Edgefield, SC, about an hour or so away from us here in Evans.  Facebook went crazy.  “Repent!  Jesus is coming!”  Yep.  His first stop is the Augusta area.  There was another earthquake a couple of days later.  This one was less severe and I didn’t actually notice it.

img-4-1-Magnitude-earthquake-shakes-South-Carolina

Our cable and internet were back in a few days, and when I returned to work on Friday, the ice was starting to melt.  Unfortunately, the office didn’t have internet, so we closed a little early.  (Darn.)  I’ve been catching up on work all this week!

Overall, Nick and I can count our blessings to have been without electricity for about 16 hours and without cable and internet for a few days.  There were many, many, many people, including my parents in SC and his just the next town over from us, who weren’t so fortunate.  There were linemen from power companies as far away as New York and Louisiana coming out here to help get power restored after this storm, and many peoples’ lives were severely interrupted, not to mention the damage to homes and property.

A week later, it’s sunny and 70 degrees here in the Augusta area.

I hope my readers (both of you!) are enjoying the weather where you are!

 

UPDATE:  I love these images from Augusta’s The Metro Spirit.

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