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Ice Grips Region

The worst ice storm since the infamous President's Day glazing of 2003 is on-going this Tuesday night. Tony and Chris have unique perspectives with their Tuesday night blogs.


Ice Storm: A Story of Beauty and the Beast

It took awhile, but when a winter storm with gumption finally arrived, it went above and beyond the call of duty.

Tuesday’s snow and ice storm gave the partisan winter lover crowd something to crow about. Snow fell fast and furiously predawn thru mid morn, then changed phase to a cold, sleety, freezing rain. That has put a crust of ice on the compacting snow pack and will make it virtually impossible to melt for perhaps another week.

We are basically locking ourselves into a treacherous Cryosphere (a world of ice) that will be as beautiful as it is dangerous.

Late this Tuesday evening, a serious ice storm is in progress across Northern Kentucky, Southern Ohio and parts of West Virginia. Given the stagnant sub-freezing temperatures that exist from Vanceburg and Greenup to Portsmouth, Jackson and Rio Grande, it is clear that many areas in this famous belt will never reach 32 degrees even on Wednesday.

Even in Huntington and Charleston, the high ground near the Museum of Art and the Old Sunrise Museum was experiencing icing on Tuesday evening. Reports of green lightning from the nurses at St Mary’s in Huntington may well have been a transformer blowing under the weight of the ice.

Former WSAZ sports colleague Jimmy Treacy called the sheen of ice on the snow outside his home in Barboursville “incredibly beautiful”. That’s the paradox of these ice storms as they are as intoxicating to view as they are dangerous.

The beauty comes as the snow pack glistens and the trees crackle under the weight of the ice. That crackling will become especially evident on Wednesday night when the wind once again blows. I recall an ice storm in March 1968 with that crackling phenomena in Philly.

But calls from police in Martin County tell us that power is out to many and rural roads are very treacherous to travel upon. Chris Bailey tells me parts of Paintsville are in the dark this night.

The “gunshot” sound of trees falling is a likely next step to this punishing storm.

In addition to side roads being glazed in the Ice Storm region, steps and sidewalks are coated with a glaze of ice especially on the higher ground.

Given how cold the air will be on average the next 5 to 7 days, we may well be stuck in a Cryospshere that only Mr. Freeze of Batman fame would enjoy.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention we are in for a mid morning to afternoon wet snowfall on Wednesday so do yourself a favor and leave those expensive leather shoes at home!
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