Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Heading for a fall...

Indianapolis is proud of its extremely sylvan nature. Most of the trees in the rest of the state have been chopped down to make room for corn and soybeans, but here in Indy it seems that every piece of ground not paved or built up is covered in trees.

This is pleasant when the weather forecast is not calling for 2+" of ice, which will transform your average maple into a sort of Bokken of Damocles, suspended menacingly over the nearest power line.

Broad Ripple is especially susceptible to this. The thunderstorms of springtime invariably knock out the power for anywhere from an hour to a day, and I'm not looking forward to seeing what the combination of wind and ice can do to the local grid. Our trees are prettier when they're lining the streets and not lying in them.


Anonymous said...

"Most of the trees in the rest of the state have been chopped down to make room for corn and soybeans"

And then we put the chopping on the state seal!

We put in work for our title of Least Green State! My axe to me, there is Nature to defile!

Anonymous said...

"Bokken of Damocles". Thank you. That just made my day in the office a bit more bearable.


wv: angul. "That icy tree is sure resting at an odd angul."

Carteach0 said...

Luck be with you.

We here are on the line. A degree either way will make the difference between an ugly rain and an icepocalypse.

Anonymous said...

As a experienced ice storm guy :
In Quebec in '92 where we lost ( nevermind local lines, major high tension lines ( MANY collapsed towers , ripped high voltage lines, plus all the local lines, plus some substations) most the province for a while.

You have every right to be nervous.

My uncle lost power for 7 weeks in rural Quebec, where average night time temps were in the -20C to -30C range. Even near suburb areas lost power for upwards of a week, and the Montreal itself was mostly dark for many days (having lost 2 of the 3 main power line feeds, and thus being on a hospital and emergency area feed only )

Imagine if you will, dark skyscrapers covered in inches of ice. Now imagine what happens when the heat comes on again to those tonnes of ice sticking to the glass. Much of downtown was no-go unless you owned an armoured car.

Not nice. The good news is crime was at a standstill, along with everything else.

Now recall Quebec has a LOT (12" snowstorm = minor disruption, and some delays at the airport) of experience with repairing/ preparing stuff for cold nasty weather.

Have fun! And good luck, here's not wishing anything bad on the lot of y'all.

DanH said...

Heh I hear ya, Here in MO we only got a little bit of ice thank god but it is currently snowing its fluffy white butt off. Only noon and already at least 6 inches, with a forecast of 20+.
We haven't had a snow like this in 17 years (and yes, I remember it ;p)

Anonymous said...

But all those ice-laden trees and wires look so pretty on teevee!

Figures. The shiniest wrappings often conceal the most hideous evil...

A lesson apparently lost on clueless electorates and rampaging populi.


Kristopher said...

I tgets even more fun when the ice coat gets to 3 or 4 inches.

Then you have six foot long spears of ice breaking loose from their perches on top of powerlines, once the melt starts and the wind hits.

Kristopher said...

And my favorite ice day movie, filmed here in PDX.

The hill involved is much steeper than the overhead camera angle shows.

Anonymous said...

My coworker, God love her, cracked me up when the weathergoobers were making solumn noises over the pending 6 inch snowfall in Kansas City. "Six inches?" she said "That ain't nothing. I get that every night!"

Her boyfriend never understood why the whole room cheered & clapped when he showed up after that. God bless you B, we miss you.


Word V = sequith, as in Sequith Agent Man

Bubblehead Les. said...

Just hope that the Weather Gods keep the trees in the streets and not your living room!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Hey, we've got the same whinge in the blog queue! Neat.

Tango Juliet said...

Best o' luck!

Firehand said...

'Bout ten years ago we had a massive ice storm in northwest OK; it didn't just take lines down, it broke utility poles. I can't remember how many thousands of poles, as well as many miles of lines, had to be replaced. There've been others nearly as bad in the central & eastern areas, they're downright damned nasty.

Montie said...


Yep, that ice storm in Eastern OK two years ago wiped out all the trees and powerlines in my 1920's Tulsa neighborhood, forcing me to buy a generator to avoid the 18 day outage.

Although the record snowfall today (that is still in progress) may not have as destructive effect, it sure has paralyzed the city. The city thought they had planned for the worst, but even the snowplows are getting stuck.

Stuart the Viking said...

I hear ya. Down here in Florida I sure love my big shade trees... until a hurricain is on it's way, then they make me really nervous. So far, none of them have seen fit to crush my house, but a few years ago a hurricain loosened branch came, literally, within 6 inches of taking the corner off.

Good luck, stay warm.


Will said...

The mistake that some plow managers make is to wait before sending out the plows, thinking to save money by limiting man-hours and wear on equipment. This only works with snowfalls of just a few inches or so. When expecting 6+ inches, you start running them as soon as it starts to accumulate. The idiots think you can just plow once, no matter how deep it is. Plus, you perform triage, designating certain streets that must be kept clear, and others you ignore. This is not cast in stone, it must vary depending on number of plows, size of plows, and speed of accumulation.

Anonymous said...

Heh! "Bokken of Damocles."

And _that's_ why I keep coming back here...

Stay awesome! (And safe.)


DirtCrashr said...

If a tree topples in an earthquake does it make a sound?
Just the loud squeal a tree-hugger makes when it's crushed to the ground.
Ice? Hopefully with climate change, in a thousand years.

Anonymous said...

This too shall pass.

Firehand said...

Yeah, but it can really hurt as it does

DanH said...

I remember that ice storm as well. We didn't get as much here in MO, but at the time I was working for a major utility equipment supplier. The company made the hardware and connectors used to get the lines back up. We shipped 4-5 truckloads of stuff a day for about 2 weeks.
I worked more hours in those two weeks than I ever had before or since.

Anonymous said...

Firehand, I was in the KS portion of that wonderful episode. The utility company didn't really push people to keep their trees away from the lines, so it was 7 days before power got back to my apartment. I hate ice storms.