Ice Storm 98
Ice Storm, Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and into the
January 5 - snow in the morning, turned
to freezing rain about 10 a.m. Things were slippery by
noon. No indication of what was to come. Freezing rain
continued through the night. Power off some locations
January 6 - trees bending and breaking,
some on telephone and electrical wires, some lanes and
January 8 - electrical wires down,
poles broken, tree breakage at its peak. Unsafe outdoors.
More road, lanes obstruction. Footing was treacherous.
It's now evident that the loss of power will be of long
duration. People are helping neighbours. Local state of
emergency. Opening of shelters for those needing meals,
warmth and companionship.
Some of our neighbours were without
power for well over two weeks. The longest outages were
in the Paden Road / Donnelly Drive areas. Toward the
Quebec border, and in Quebec, the outages were much
Kudos to community leaders - both
business and volunteer, council, military, police, and
the great firefighters.
We had hydro workers from Ontario
Hydro, Nepean Hydro, Toronto, K-Line, Etobicoke and lots
of other places. And they really hustled. The whole thing
was very costly, and it will take many months to clean
up. Particularly affected were businesses, farmers caring
for livestock, and those with tree crops. It was a
difficult, tiring time, especially for people on their
own. You may not want to know this just now, but the
beleaguered Ontario Hydro debt before
the storm was $31 billion.
We have received permission from
the Fireside Moms to post the following poem from
| (Poem written at the
Community Center on 16 Jan 98 by
the "FIRESIDE MOM'S!!" )
ODE TO THE ICE STORM
IT STARTED ELEVEN LONG DAYS
WHEN THE FREEZING RAIN CAME, INSTEAD OF THE SNOW.
IT FELL HEAVY ON THE BRANCHES
CAUSING THEM TO BEND TO THEIR KNEES.
OUT WENT THE POWER - AND IN
CAME THE COLD
THE FOOD IN THE FRIDGE, IT STARTED TO MOLD.
WE WAITED AND WAITED, AND
WAITED SOME MORE,
AND ALL THE NECESSITIES WE STARTED TO STORE.
LONG DAYS TURNED INTO DARK
WOULD SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE US SOME LIGHT!
NEIGHBOURS HELPING NEIGHBOURS
FOR HOURS ON END
WE ALL BECAME CLOSER AND MADE NEW FRIENDS.
THE MEN WOULD NESTLE ALL SNUG
IN THEIR BEDS
BUT VISIONS OF SUMP PUMPS STILL DANCED IN THEIR
THE FIREFIGHTERS CAME FROM
NEAR AND FAR
PUMPING OUT BASEMENTS AND CHECKING ON FARMS.
AND THEN THROUGH THE DARKNESS,
A BEACON OF LIGHT
IT SHONE THROUGH THE DAY AND ALL THROUGH THE
WE HAVE A SHELTER - HIP HIP
PACK UP THE KIDS, WERE SPENDING THE DAY.
THERE'S NANCY AND LARRY WITH
PHONES TO THEIR EARS,
A WELCOMING COMMITTEE ALLAYING ALL FEARS
NEED A FLASHLIGHT? A BATTERY?
A CUP OF GOOD CHEER?
WHATEVER YOU NEED IS AVAILABLE HERE
AND THEN IN THE DISTANCE - A
KHAKI GREEN HAZE
THE ARMY HAS COME TO BRIGHTEN OUR DAYS
THE CHOPPING WENT ON BOTH
INSIDE AND OUT.
BOTH WOOD AND SOUP WERE HANDED OUT.
THE TIRELESS KITCHEN
STAFF....OH, HOW THEY TOILED,
TO ENSURE THE DONATIONS NEVER WERE SPOILED.
THE SUPPLIES KEPT ON COMING,
THE CRAFTS AND THE TOYS
TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY AND KEEP DOWN
A WEEK WENT BY AND STILL NO
OUR PATIENCE AND TEMPERS WE STARTED
AND THEN ON DAY SEVEN A
MEETING WAS SET
NO ANSWERS WERE GIVEN - WE STARTED
BUT STILL THE COMMUNITY - WE
WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS - NO
MATTER THE WEATHER
BUT WE COULDN'T HAVE DONE THIS
OUR HATS OFF TO YOU AND A HEARTY
TO THE LINEMEN WHO WORKED SO
HARD NIGHT AND DAY
OUR GRATITUDE IS MORE THAN WE EVER
TO ONTARIO HYDRO WE OWE A HUGE
WE'LL BE PAYING FOR YEARS, ON THAT YOU CAN BET!
THEN COME NEXT OCTOBER, WE'LL
RUE THE DAY
THAT WE TRIED TO KEEP WARM IN
OUR OWN SPECIAL WAY!!
Becki and Jane Ghattas
trees were down
lines were down
(We know it's just a typo - thought it might get a
|We are pleased to have received permission to post
the following message that summarizes the community
sentiment in North Gower at the time:
|We are one of the lucky families in North Gower who
have their power back after 9 days. We feel for the
others still coping with the dark and cold, and have
invited people to come and eat, shower or warm up, just
as people in other towns have done for us in the last
week. The organization and dedication of the
volunteers, Fire Department, political people, and
individuals is outstanding. I think that anyone who
needed help would certainly receive whatever they needed,
very quickly. I am also very impressed with the
swift and effective organization of the Region's
Emergency Plan, and the setup of the shelter in North
We must be a model for how a community should come
together to help each other. I hope that everyone's
life is back to normal as fast as possible.
Caroline Harris and George Banaszkiewicz
|A message from a Hydro guy
> ...I was in Winchester for 14 days and just returned
on Sunday night. Got to know North, South Gower, Oxford,
Osgoode, Russell, Cambridge, Finch, Winchester Townships
very well. The real "thanks" goes to our
customers without power for so long. Your patience,
fortitude, understanding and spirit through this was
absolutely remarkable! Jerry Crown