On Wednesday, central North Carolina received a terrible ice storm. It looks like we got 1/2-1 inch of ice before it ended yesterday afternoon. Anything over 1/4 inch can spell trouble for trees and power lines. Needless to say, Raleigh is a mess.
I left work as soon as the sleet started on Wednesday, around 1:45 pm. The roads were crowded, but I got home in about 45 minutes (about the same amount of time as it takes during rush hour). Tim waited until 3pm to leave Chapel Hill. He can usually get home in about 45 minutes too, since he doesn't go during rush hour, but it took him 3 hours to get out of Chapel Hill. He walked into our house around 8pm. That's how quickly conditions detereorated.
Our power went out just after midnight. By the time we woke up the next morning, the house was already down to 58 degrees. Since it stayed in the 20's all day, the house just kept getting colder and colder. We sat in front of the fire, and we could heat water since we have a gas stove. We found out that our friend's hot dog place was open, so we headed out there for lunch. We also picked up some hot dogs and coffee for my parents. While at their house, my sister called to say her power had been restored, so we all pulled stuff out of our fridges, packed overnight bags, and headed to her place. Her power went back out sometime after 4am, but it was restored around 9:30.
Over a million people in NC, about half of which are in this area, lost power in this storm. That's double the total from previous disasters like Hurricanes Fran and Hugo. I'm amazed how quickly they're getting power back to folks. Our local electric company thinks they'll have everyone restored by the end of the day today. Wow - those guys are thoroughly impressing me with their hard work and dedication.
My office was closed Thursday and Friday, but Tim had to go to work today. When he got to the house this morning, he called us to let us know that we had power back! I'm letting the house warm up before I head back over there.
Safe and sound...and grateful that none of us have significant house or car damage. There are a number of people in this area who weren't so lucky.