Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ice storm

The Northeast is recovering from a major ice storm that has left over a million people without power. The urban core of Albany, New York actually weathered the storm quite well: the Thursday afternoon commute was treacherous and some trees and limbs came down, but by Friday morning the roads were relatively clear. I had to go into the office early on Friday in order to attend a meeting that made me start thinking about the future of "documents" -- I'll blog about these thoughts once my head clears -- and was surprised to discover that all of the ice on my car had melted away well before I needed to leave for work.

By this afternoon, the ice had melted off of most of the trees and shrubs. However, most of the small crabapple trees that line my street were still ice-covered as of this afternoon because the buildings on the street blocked the sun's rays.

The communities that surround Albany weren't so lucky. Many co-workers who live outside of Albany lacked power as of yesterday afternoon, and at least one of them has suffered property damage because of a fallen tree limb.

I drove up to Saratoga Springs this afternoon, and saw lots of downed tree limbs along the Adirondack Northway and on roads throughout the city, which got a couple of inches of snow atop the ice.

After I left Saratoga Springs, I ran some errands in Latham, which also got snow as well as ice. Some of the homes and businesses in Latham had power, and some didn't, and there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the outages. Clusters of open businesses and houses with Christmas lights ablaze alternated with short stretches of darkened buildings and dead streetlights, giving the place a sort of crazy-quilt feel.

Some of the ice-covered trees (such as this specimen in the parking lot of the Latham Circle Mall) are really quite lovely. However, I also saw trees bent to the ground by the weight of the ice upon them, and I don't think all of them will survive.

Parts of the Northeast will likely be without power for several days, and the crews are working overtime in an effort to repair all of the damage.

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