The following isn't very political, but more of a personal account of the J29 2005 ice storm.
The icy precipitation began falling on Friday night around 6pm, but was not enough to interrupt my plans of stumbling from bar to bar around downtown and then arriving too late to a show at Tight Pockets. Other than my friend having to scrape a little sleet off of his windshield, no problem, and the road were good. I went to sleep around 1 in the morning and by then more freezing rain and sleet had begun to fall.
I awoke around noon to find an inch of slushy snow and sleet on the ground and rain and sleet falling, probably freezing at the areas where the ground was below freezing. A solid glaze had stuck to the trees and grass and the main roads were okay but side roads were iced up.
At 330pm I walked to the geography building and managed to slip once. Icy cover was a mix of black ice, icy rubble, and slush - no trees or power outages yet. What was normally a ten minute walk took about 15-20 minutes. I left the geography building for downtown at 615pm to check if a show was still going on at Tasty World and found the slush to be freezing over. 30 minute walk. Very slippery. Show was still going on, but it wouldn't start until later and no one was there.
I spent the next few hours around downtown, drinking iced coffee ('cause I'm a masochist) and managed to bum a ride home which required buckets of hot water to melt some ice to get traction for the tires, but was much better than trying to walk home.
I got home to find a series of leaks in my windowsill, wall, and adjacent ceiling. I unplugged all the electronics and got a bunch of buckets, jabbed a hole in the ceiling to let the water drain and then got a dehumidifier to dry out the carpet. At least the ceiling didn't collapse, but is rather warped, put plastic all over my books and computer stuff. Walked outside to find that the transformers were starting to pop and branches were starting to break. Called a friend on my cell and then went back inside.
Power went out for two hours starting at 1015 and stayed out until 1230am. Had to empty buckets twice. Spent part of the power outage time outside watching for trees to fall and hearing some transformers pop. Also overheard some presumably drunk nearby residents were outside making noise. A lot of folks were outside and rather loud and I was wondering if outside + drunk + power outage would yield either fireworks, fires, or rioting. The first 2 out of 3 did happen.
At 130am, someone did light off some fireworks and I listened to find out if one would hit a tree, shake the icy branches and result in a big toppled mess. Didn't happen. At 430am however, a 6" thick branch came down off a tree on the other side of Bloomfield and took the powerlines with it. The resulting crash woke me up and I got to the window in time to see the live wires pop and sizzle on the ground and burn anything it touched. It burned and sizzled for about an hour (after I dialed the emergency number) and went out before anyone blocked the road off. On a side note, downed powerlines do sound like the way they do in the movies - just a lot louder and brighter.
As of writing I have driven around town and found quite a bit of tree damage, almost as much as with the remnants of Ivan back in September. Power still out at the Lumpkin and Clark intersection, streetlights not working. The window leak has stopped and the ceiling leaks have dissipated quite a bit, but are still dripping.
Last night I did see some really funny things UGA students were trying to do on the ice. There was the usual assortment of idiots trying to drive or walk or jog and people trying to skate on the heels of their shoes (a good way to sprain something as I have personal experience). The best was a group of four folks trying to kayak across the ice by running about 40 feet across the ice (slipping and losing hold of the kayak the whole way) only to bellyflop on the kayak and maybe make it about 8 feet before stopping. Apparently the concept of a hill is new to these folks. I didn't see any darwin award material though, other then me losing my footing on an incline.
I have a piece of ice that fell from a tree in my freezer, it's about 3/8" inches thick. Other areas I noticed about 1/4 - 3/4 ice accumulations. Had this storm dropped over an inch of ice, I'd definitely be bailing water out of my bedroom instead of writing.