Ice Storm of 2007

A driving rain and snow storm blew into the Vermillion area the evening of December 9th and covered the area on Sunday the 10th. No one had a plan for the disaster that followed. On Monday night, the 11th, it started to rain after midnight and rained all through the night with an accumulation of around three inches in many areas. The temperature began to fall. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, one could hear the cracking of tree limbs heavily laden with ice and thought it to be ice sliding off of the buildings. By dawn the world was surreal. It looked like a war zone. Everywhere one looked one could see the trees twisted, torn and broken down. Power lines were down throughout the countryside. Everything had come to a standstill. Neighbors began helping neighbors and for many days the town of Vermillion was closed down with wall heaters and generators only, keeping the town folks warm. Some folks even moved to their friends or family’s homes where heat and cooking were available. What a blessed relief on Saturday night, December 15, to see the light of the city restored. It was as though civilization had returned to the world. Due to lack of heat, church services were canceled everywhere. Interestingly enough, many of the farmers had some sort of heat in their homes that kept their water pipes from freezing and gave them a certain amount of warmth in the home. Most people thought they would just wait for the crewmen to come and reestablish the electricity. This just didn’t happen. In many areas the electrical poles were all broken over and down for miles and miles and miles with no lights visible anywhere. As the days turned into a week and more, many of the people began to realize that they needed to fend for themselves and drove miles to purchase generators to use until the electricity was restored. Many of the areas were without power for eight to fourteen, to twenty one days and longer. Old time farmers said that they had never seen anything like it in their lifetime. Even after the towns were restored with electricity, may farmers patiently waited while powerline crews from the adjoining states worked into the night many days to complete the setting up of a section of poles before retiring for the night. It was with rejoicing that most of the towns and farms electricity was restored by Christmas Day. Everyone was truly thankful for being able to rejoice and share Christmas dinner together around the table this year.
by Audrey Broxterman

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