Plains ICE Disaster

  • Thread starter Mike Hollingshead
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Mike Hollingshead

I thought maybe this deserves its own topic now that it is evident just how severe this is. I guess since it has been mostly rural it's not going to get much attention in the news, though that could change yet.


Here is some of what I've found in southern NE the last 2 days. http://www.extremeinstability.com/06-12-31.htm Any on here have anything from this event? Reading some of MikeU's comments it sounds just as bad through KS and into TX. I'll try to keep updating images and add some text.
 
Man amazing pictures I had no idea it was that bad; not even the media here in E NE has made it apparent how severe the damage is they only mention a few NPPD customers with out power.

Man, tell me about it. It'd been driving me nuts. I think it is because it is worth just south of Kearney and Grand Island, and it starts getting very bad just west of Hastings. From what I can tell the power companies in the area are maybe just now starting to get a grasp on how bad it is. I don't think anyone can till they see it for themselves and drive on and on and see how extensive it is.
 
Whoever thought that such destruction could be so beautiful? Those are great pics, Mike, but I sure feel for those people. The power grid probably won't be completely restored for many weeks, and the property damage totals will be over the moon.

I can still remember a similar storm up here in Quebec a few years ago. You guys sent ConEd up here to help rebuild hundreds of power pylons brought down by the ice. We'll never forget it.

John
www.skywatch7.com
 
Looks a lot like the January 1998 event in Canada. It takes a lot to bring down the steel truss high-tension line towers. The good news is that temps should get up into the 40s during the day for a while, allowing some of this to melt and make it bearable for people without heat.
 
Whoever thought that such destruction could be so beautiful? Those are great pics, Mike, but I sure feel for those people. The power grid probably won't be completely restored for many weeks, and the property damage totals will be over the moon.

I can still remember a similar storm up here in Quebec a few years ago. You guys sent ConEd up here to help rebuild hundreds of power pylons brought down by the ice. We'll never forget it.

John
www.skywatch7.com

I thought a lot about the beauty of such destructive forces(not all different from tornadoes). It's an odd contrast that is for sure. I wondered why couldn't ice be green and slimy, something not beautiful like crystal. Why can't tornadoes just be beautiful without the destruction. It was pretty at first, but by the end of today it was getting depressing, for the people that will have to deal with it. Like Dan mentions, at least it will warm. That area could easily have 0 for a high this time of year. One other thing I thought a lot about were the lineman. That must take a special breed. To me that would be extremely depressing to look at. Like where does one even start.
 
Stunning imagery Mike...it does seem that some of the most amazing and beautiful sights to behold in nature are also the most destructive...I suppose that may be due to them also being things you don't see every day.

We have not had an ice storm like that in the UK for many, many years, although we do get some mildly disruptive freezing rain every so often.

Having chased around the areas in your pics, it seems very odd to me that they are so icy, etc! I am only used to seeing them when it's fairly hot!
 
Doh! Looks like Drummond's server is begging for mercy. ;) Either that or you've asploded your bandwidth cap or something. I dunno, but that isn't exactly a compelling Dryline Hosting advert, if you know what I mean.

Those pics ARE freakin' incredible. The bowed tranmission towers are just eerie. Too bad nobody can see them because your host pulled the plug when you needed it most.
 
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I guess since it has been mostly rural it's not going to get much attention in the news, though that could change yet.http://

Yeah, I read some of the MD's about it when it was happening in Southern NE, but I didn't realize how horrible it was until I heard something about it on local radio today and saw your awesome pictures! It's beautiful, but bad news for both farming and just for the people who live out there. I can imagine it will be several weeks, possibly months before everything is up and running again. Thanks again for posting those great pics Mike!
 
Doh! Looks like Drummond's server is begging for mercy. ;) Either that or you've asploded your bandwidth cap or something.

Those pics ARE freakin' incredible. The bowed tranmission towers are just eerie.

Yeah, Mike got Farked, torrented and a few other things all in one day. We're trying to get him a work around right now. He'll be back up.
 
Yeah my site is down. I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to get it back up. Here are some files I attached to st's server.

http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=49&stc=1&d=1167774268
This was nw of Minden, south of Kearney NE. Guess you'll have to click this one to see those mangled transmission lines.


http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=50&stc=1&d=1167774268
Somewhere east of Holdredge.


http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=51&stc=1&d=1167774268
This is what the grass stems looked like, lol.

http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52&stc=1&d=1167777442
This was south of Kearney about 4 miles. I'll try and add a few more here.
 
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Just a quick report from Kearney. I live about 8 blocks from the center of town (2 blocks from the university campus). As I write this my neighborhood has been without power for about 70 hours. Saturday night, after the power went out, the scene was quite surreal. This storm was at least three times worse than the one we had a week ago. That one took out all the weak branches. This one took down strong living branches. The greater thickness of ice was assisted by pretty high winds. The sound (about one a minute) of branches breaking and falling to the ground along with hundreds of pounds of thick ice was like nothing I've ever heard. The evening was punctuated with blue and green flashes of false "lightning" as transformers blew and wires sparked. It looked like something from "War of the Worlds". I haven't seen Mike's pics yet (site is redirecting to a dummy page) and I haven 't been out of Kearney yet but the city looks like a war zone. Even last night (long after the storm was over) the north side of city light poles had literally 3" of ice on them. Lawns look like they are made of glass marbles - each blade of grass making up a bubble 3/4" in diameter.

This is the latest from NPPD: http://www.nppd.com/Newsroom/NewsRelease.asp?NewsReleaseID=231

It may be worth reviewing some tips in case this happens to you:
http://www.nppd.com/winter_safetytips.asp

I'm quite glad that we have a gas stove (that requires no electricity). We're keeping a turkey fryer kettle of water on low heat which provides humidity and heat. Each morning finds the house a little colder (mine's an 80-year-old brick 1-1/2 story). Cooking/baking warms the house (the kitchen is downright hot). A front (north) coat closet provides a nice "refrigerator" and outdoors is our freezer. Daughter's apartments have electricity so we can take showers as needed. The worst part is being without computer/internet - i'm writing this from the university server room, which is running off of a diesel generator.

Sounds as if campus will be closed tomorrow (not official yet) and depending upon power may be closed even longer. This is one for the books!
 
Some of these are extremely compressed to fit the size limit on here(and some are resaved JPGs to do so...also doesn't help quality).


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Very incredible pictures indeed.

Was there any ice left from the first storm, or was this all "new" ice from this storm system? Are there any radar estimates from this area to give us an idea how much actually fell?
 
Mike -- if you get this any time soon (I don't have your phone # or I'd call,) email me; I was mentioning your photos to one of our editors, and they were very interested in seeing them to run in the paper. I told them about the photos of the downed transmission towers, the thick ice around things, and the confused looking cow -- they seemed very interested. If they run it, they'd credit you and likely include a link to your website (if it's back up by then.)

digicana at gmail dot com
 
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Very incredible pictures indeed.

Was there any ice left from the first storm, or was this all "new" ice from this storm system? Are there any radar estimates from this area to give us an idea how much actually fell?

All the ice had melted from the ice storm a week ago. The tree damage from that one was fairly obvious as I drove to my target on the 29th. So this was all new ice. GID has some stuff on their site about precip totals via radar. They seemed a bit off from the glance I had.

http://www.crh.noaa.gov/gid/?n=stormsummary

None of those ice reports come from the worst areas. The 1 inch at Junita is close. It seemed to be the worst west of there and especially around Funk and Kenasaw.....well....most everywhere from Junita(roughly Hastings) west to at least Holdredge was all very bad.
 
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Fortunately I got to look at Mike's photos before his site's bandwidth got exceeded.

Some of those images were pretty horrendous......blades of grass encased in what looks like solid glass, but actually it's ice. It's insane to think that a stalk of dried vegetation barely .5" thick can accumulate something that looks to me to be about 6" or more of solid ice.

It's a pity that this was an event that never got a whole lot of coverage. I hope those people out there in the Nebraskan winter wilderness get some power restored soon or life is going to become pretty miserable! From what I hear, Goodland got whacked too although with more of the snow-variety rather than ice accumulations. The Plains are renowned for their brutal winter weather sometimes.

KL
 
Wow! That reminds me so much of the Ice Storm we had here in the Montreal area in 1998. Like any other photogenic weather events, it's so beutifull but so destructive at the same time :mad:

Beautifull pics there Mike!
 
WOW! :eek:

The ice looks like its an inch or more thick in many places, and those huge lines down is just shocking. That is some damage that will cause some people to not have power for at least a month if there is no other bad weather that delays/destructs further :(
 
Great pics Mike! Katie and I saw the same thing driving back on I-70 from Goodland Saturday. It seemed to get really bad in between Oakley and Hays. We wanted to stop and take a million pics but after driving around Colby and Goodland during and after the storm we just wanted to get out of there before dark.

My father in law is a regional manager for OPPD and was sent to Holdredge, NE as of now to help out with this disaster. Its kind of a funny situation we have in this family, my wife and I will leave to chase a storm or storms and when we get back her father has to take off to the same place to repair the damage. Anywho, he told me today that he has taken a bunch of pics but can't get them back to me because he can't get any internet in his hotel. I will try to post them when I get them.
 
On TWC they just had a guy talking that toured the area with the governor, must have been a power company representative. He says, "There may be up to 1,000 poles down." Up to 1,000...lol. Orrrrrrr there could be a whole hell of a lot more than that. This was just after they said it was a whole lot worse than they originally thought. Then maybe one should say, "at least 1,000".

Dean what would you say, from what you saw? Up to or at least? Perhaps they are trying to gradually walk into reality. Maybe my idea of 1000 in that large of an area is off, I don't know. It seems obvious though when you see stretches of MANY down in area after area...in your LINE path....inside a very wide area...that it should be considerably greater than 1000.

I almost forgot. It was soooo strange LOOKING for power poles for your shots. That hit me over and over. Normally I'm going mad trying to get to locations without them.
 
More from TWC, lol. What the hell is wrong with them? Earlier I see stranded cattle footage and massive snow drifts. What is the big caption at the top of the screen? Denver CO . Are the cattle stuck in rush hour traffic? Now they just showed some big ice accumulations while talking about all the power outages. What is the big caption at the top of that clip? Omaha NE . People must not be able to understand general areas like, southern Nebraska, or eastern Colorado, so lets just give them the biggest city in the state and leave it at that. I must have missed that inch + of solid ICE in Omaha. Maybe when a tornado or severe storm hits rural NE they'll just say, Omaha NE .
 
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