Massachusetts: Trees fall in Ice storm

As I looked more closely I saw with astonishment that the ice on each
twig was now a good two inches thick, and rain was still falling. Each
branch must weigh hundreds of pounds, getting heavier all the time. I
thought surely the trees could not stand it much longer.

And just then
there began a long litany of explosive cracks from the forest. One
after another branches were shattering. As the ice accumulation
thickened, entire trees began to topple over in huge explosions of
broken wood and ice. Maple, oak, sycamore, elm, hickory, locust, it
did not matter. Down they were coming in their hundreds and probably
thousands. Inside, the rooms were growing cold. The phones did not
work. The water pressure was dropping. By degrees, the house seemed to
be dying. I lit the wood stove, heating what the builders of this
farm, back in the 18th Century, had called the keeping room, the one
room you try at all costs to keep warm. I dozed in front of it. The
dog joined me after a while and then my wife, both unable to sleep up
in the frigid bedroom.

We waited until the sun came up, around 0700.
Outside was a scene of the purest white and the most utter
devastation. All our trees were down and along the dirt road that
connects us to the outside world, were metre after metre of vast,
ice-covered trunks and branches, all fallen, some leaning against
sagging power lines and telephone wires. It was perfectly silent,
graveyard still, except that every minute or so came an immense
unexpected crack, like a gunshot, as another unseen tree broke, and
then went down, falling in a roar of shattering ice. The car in the
driveway was untouched and so, happily, was our rooster, who came
crowing merrily from underneath an ice-rimmed tractor. But we were
trapped. There was no way we could drive out. So we chose to walk out,
through the forest. The battery radio was saying that this was a
region-wide emergency. The National Guard was being called out and it
might be a week before power was restored. There was just no point in
staying and besides, I had a speech to give in New York.

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