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Ice Storm 2009 Arkansas Missouri Oklahoma - Ice Photos and Poem about Powerless

Updated on December 23, 2014

What happens in an ice storm?

In 2009, a major Ice Storm hit Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and many other surrounding states. Many people were without power for days or even weeks. People suffered property losses—homes, trees, fences. Personally, I was thankful to be able to slide in to work every day (picked up by a four-wheel drive) to get out of my cold house, which was frigid for three days. As I work in a skilled nursing facility, we are always open, but even there, Mother Nature made us wait out nearly 22 hours without electricity.

Those days were cold, dark, and scary. The first night sounded like a warzone or hundreds of fireworks going off at once as trees grew heavy with the ice and cracked and fell. It was dangerous to be outside for days as limbs continued to crack under the pressure and fall.

Those dreary days took their toll on us. People were cold, tired, and frustrated, and took it out on each other. Many of us felt powerless, as powerless as the homes we lived in. All we could do was wait for it to end.


There's a house behind there somewhere....
There's a house behind there somewhere.... | Source
Gizmo--trying to get warm in a 40 degree house
Gizmo--trying to get warm in a 40 degree house | Source
A beautiful and destructive ice storm
A beautiful and destructive ice storm | Source
Trees everywhere were destroyed, never to look the same again.
Trees everywhere were destroyed, never to look the same again. | Source

Powerless


Powerless


As the ice fell and the trees cracked,

I held my hands over my ears

And looked around in disbelief

As the tree next to the house split into.


Little Trudy Jane, with her round green eyes

Large on her soft orange face,

Pounced across the patio

and in through the

sliding glass door. I followed.


The fire flickered but gave off little warmth.

The dog lay nearby, curled up in blankets.

Even the cats were slow tonight,

Snuggled all in the same room, soft and still.


The candles burned, hopelessly.

I fanned the fire with an old hand fan.

But the temperature hovered at 40.

It refused to rise.


I pulled my hat down on my ears,

Grabbed another blanket,

Sat down by the animals,

Watching their rising and falling bodies.


I stifled a cry as another branch broke—

And then another.

Fear made me still.

I sank deeper into the quilts.


Powerless.


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    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      collegedad--That's sweet about your daughter. :-) I haven't bought a generator, but I bought an inverter which would power a few things for a short time. I probably should invest in a generator just in case--to make myself feel better. I should put together an emergency kit, too. Perhaps you should write a hub about what to include so I'll know! :-)

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      Ya we kept the genny. We also bought a few propane heaters and created an emergency kit that rivaled that of any doomsdayer. Most everyone I knew was unprepared for the storm even though many had experienced severe power outages in the past. Still I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. For months my daughter wanted to turn off the power and camp in the living room. Good memories!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Kathryn & justateacher--That's just what I was thinking, that Blizzard of Oz is such a cool term! Glad you're enjoying it, justateacher!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Blizzard of Oz is great for me! No work for three days so far, spending time with the grandkids in the snow, and snuggling with hot chocolate and a good book - and computer - not too bad at all right now!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      collegedad-The power came on 2 hours after you bought the generator? Isn't that how it goes? Did you take it back? Or maybe you're just prepared now. Yes, some people around NW AR had power off for a long time, too. Fortunately, mine was only about 3 days. Still, it was a tough time. I agree that it brought some people together, though. Thanks for your input!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      @ Justateacher, Blizzard of Oz? That is the coolest term I have ever heard for a blizzard! It's probably not too much fun, though.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      justateacher--That's awful about the storm ruining your appliances! That was an awful time. I hope your Blizzard of Oz is going much better this time! Glad you liked the poem and pictures!

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      We had the ice storm, a flood, and a tornado, in 2009. That winter was something to remember. We lived in northern Arkansas. After the ice storm some of the locals were without power for well over a month. Fortunately for us the power was only out for four days. It came back on just two hours after I picked up our $800 generator at Home Depot. Within hours we had folks lined up to do their laundry and make phone calls as our phone came back on the same time the power did.

      Everyone pitched and helped each other where they could. In all its was an experience that drew the community together.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I remember this storm well! In Kansas we were without power for more than two weeks. We had one electrical line that was knocked down but not completely down. Since the power companies first priority was the major transformers and lines that serviced many homes, we were one of the last ones to get power back. Because of the way they line fell, we still had intermittent low level power. Because of that we had many power surges that ruined every electrical appliance in our home...thank goodness for insurance!

      Nice poem! Love the pictures!

      (Right now we are living through the Blizzard of Oz parts one and two! Gotta love that Kansas weather!)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      You're right, Kathryn. Ice is so much heavier, even just half an inch. We had 2 inches in some places. This huge, beautiful tree split 3 ways. The one part that is left is still alive and jagged and needs to be trimmed. There are reminders all around of how the trees were changed forever. So many trees had to be cut down if they weren't already down. Thanks for your insightful and thorough comments. :-)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      That is what you call "scary beautiful". It's too bad something so pretty is also dangerous and destructive.

      I remember during the 2011 storm we had in Connecticut, the leaf-filled trees were heavy with snow, and there was a lot of destruction in that storm. I could hear the trees in the park across the street from where I lived, cracking all night, and every time I heard it, it made me sad. I was also without power for nearly a week. It was only October/November, so fortunately it didn't get down to 40 degrees until the very end. But I remember I was eager to go to work, because they still had power. A fridge, a microwave, tv, and coffeemaker (my main concern) were all in the breakroom, and it felt so good to be warm, and to have light.

      As bad as it was, ice is even heavier and deadlier than just heavy snow.

      Thanks for sharing this.

      The poem was also very beautiful and heartfelt.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I hear ya, CC. It's awful. Yes, let''s hope these types of storms stay away. :-)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Being without power is no fun. In the middle of winter it's even less fun. Beautiful and telling poem and hopefully these kinds of storms are few and far between.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      torrilynn--I appreciate that. Thanks for the feedback!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      Victoria Lynn, really nice article you have here about ice storms and good depiction of what has happened. nice. voted up.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      PDX--Your opinion is always welcome! :-)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      well, and i was only offering my opinion :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I was thinking about that, PDX, since you left the previous comment. I like split into, because it actually split into THREE pieces. It didn't split into TWO pieces. :-) You made me think about it!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      although split into has some nice connotations now that I'm rereading it :-)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, PDX.I had to leave the house during that time since I worked in a nursing home, but that was a good thing since my house was without electricity and 40 degrees for 3 days. I'll look at your suggestion. Thanks! ;-)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      really good, Victoria. We had a storm like that during the same year. Two weeks without leaving my house.

      also: "As the tree next to the house split into" should probably read "in two"?

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Kinda cool? Hurricanes? You're funny, Sunshine. So positive about so many things. You rock!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      We have plenty of time to prepare for a hurricane. Yes they are scary and can cause a lot of havoc but they are kinda cool too.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      anjperez--I hate the cold. It gets in my bones, too. I don't feel warm again until springtime. Yes, prayer for blessings and protection--I like that. Thanks for the great comments.

    • anjperez profile image

      anjperez 5 years ago

      Victoria, temperature below 25C is already cold for me. i have experienced winter and spring for a couple of months and i could not stand the cold. it gets to my bones. how much more snow storms. i cannot imagine. hope this will not happen again. i believe every place in this world have their own natural calamities. as for us, we have flash floods and typhoons. but what's wonderful about this is that mankind has shown how to prevail in such trying circumstances. We will just pray for blessings and protection.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Oooooh, Sunshine, hurricanes are scary! But I sure would like to have warmer weather for the majority of the year. Thanks for the compliment, though. You're always so supportive!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Brrrrrr!!! This is one more reason why I live in Florida, I'd take a hurricane over an ice storm. Great photos and poem. Thank you for sharing.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      January again! Hope the Ice Storm doesn't happen again....

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This time of year again.... Hope we don't have to go through this again!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, AliciaC! It was very unpleasant. I'm glad I took the photos as a reminder. I still get a bad feeling when I look at them. It was a tough time for a lot of people. Then, in 2010, we didn't have the ice, but we had 6 or 7 snows. Unreal for this area. I'm used to having a few really cold days, a relatively mild winter with maybe one snow or a couple of light ones. Our last snow in 2010 was 24 inches! Unheard of in this area. Anyway, I'm with you in hoping that this winter isn't so bad. We need a break!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Your description is very impressive, Victoria! I enjoyed the poem and the photos - both conveyed the unpleasant state of affairs very well. It sounds like you were in a scary situation. Where I live we don't usually get much snow, I'm glad to say. I hope that the upcoming winter isn't so bad for you.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Susan--I should probably invest in a generator, just in case the power is out for days again. Mother Nature can be so unpredictable. Thanks for reading!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We had an ice-storm here in 1998. Thank goodness for generators as they sure come in handy. Never know what mother nature is going to throw our way.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks, happypuppy, for reading another of my hubs. Yes, Mother Nature can sure be unpleasant at times. It's amazing, too, how she can be both destructive and beautiful (ice!) at the same time!

    • happypuppy profile image

      happypuppy 6 years ago

      This reminds of the blizzard that we had this past winter here in NJ. Though it's not quite as bad as what you've experienced in Arkansas, it was devastating. Mother nature could be unpleasant sometimes. Regardless, I love snow and your pictures are so beautiful!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Thanks for the comments, Lucky Cats. So, that's where you moved to California from, huh? Yes, it was scary and awful--and so cold. I would pray for the electricity to come on. I would take a shot of warm whiskey (or two), dress in many layers, fan the candles, and get out lots of blankets to curl up for the night with my dog and 5 feline heaters! It is still hard to think about that time. Sometimes the frustration would lead me to tears.

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Victoria, I lived in SE Kansas...just above the Oklahoma state line (80 miles from Tulsa) and we experienced the same thing...lots of broken, shredded tree limbs, power outages..it was awful. you've described it perfectly. Our house didn't get very warm from the fire, either...it reminded me of a movie I saw about 8 years ago...with Dennis Quaid...everything was totally frozen over and they were burning books, furniture, everything in order to survive. YIKES! All ups!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Movie Master--I agree with your comment abut nature. Ice Storm 2009 was a rough time. While there is something almost beautiful about the ice pictures, I still can't look at them without feeling the cold and the dread. Thanks for your compliments.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Nature can be awesome and it can be terrifying.

      Beautifully captured in your poem, fantastic pictures.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
      Author

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yeah, kschimmel, my neighbors lost tall pines, some of which fell on my shed in my back yard. Last year we had 24 inches of snow, instead. Extreme winters. Before that, we normally only had --MAYBE--a few snows, but they weren't a big deal. The last few winters have been brutal, though. So has the spring, and now the summer. we were used to moderate seasons around here. Oh, well. Maybe we're do for a moderate year! Thanks for your comment!

    • kschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel 6 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      We experienced a huge ice storm in NC one year--lost bunches of tall pines. Power was out in much of the state for over a week.

      I prefer snow to ice, most definitely.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      *point, not poing. haha. It's been a long day!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Good poing, BWD. That time in my life started a year that was painful in many ways. Lots of things--many painful--happened that year that were tough. I was just thinking about it all. I would like cooler weather, but not the extremities that brought the pain of that time in my life. Thanks for commenting. Very astute comments.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      i also have to comment that i like the timing of your hub, a good read when for that area of the country that has been experiencing imberable heat this summer!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image
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      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I know. Nature can cause a lot of harm and pain. I appreciate your stopping by, looking, and commenting.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      nice poem, amazing pictures, nature can be so extreme!