Photo Taken in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Storm of 2012

I know everyone wants to hear about the house and I will talk about it, but I must share the most current news about the infamous Christmas Day Storm of Little Rock.  It was a doozy.

We'll start at the beginning.  Christmas Eve Day was a California day.  I was driving around doing a bit of shopping and thinking again about how moving south was such a brilliant idea with weather this beautiful.

I woke up the next day and it was raining.  It was a pretty rain.  I was simply enjoying the day unpacking things in my new house.

Things started taking a turn when the rain started icing up on everything and a pretty thick ice at that.  That's when I got concerned.  About five the rain turned to snow.  More concern set in.

I thought the white Christmas would be up north in Cape Fair where I'd just left.  Nope, the white Christmas would be here, but it didn't feel like a happy white Christmas, the ones we think about and hope to experience.  It felt like one to be concerned about.  Not the same feeling at all.

The snow kept coming down and it didn't take long, I'd say about eight o'clock that the creaking and crackling started.  Anyone familiar with tall pines in these conditions knows exactly what I'm talking about, but for me, it was a brand new experience.  I knew immediately what the sound was though.  It was the trees and branches breaking.  The weight of the snow on the ice-laden branches had taken its toll.

It scared the living wits out of me.  I've never been so scared in my life, to tell you the truth.  Every time I heard that sound throughout the evening and night, I froze and my head turned around trying to figure out where it was coming from.  I think there was one moment where I ducked on the floor.

Very early on in the crackling, there was a big flash (I thought it was lightning hitting a tree) and a huge boom.  A fairly good-sized pine fell and took the power and cable lines with it.  The flash was actually the tree hitting the power line.  Funny enough, I still had lights and Internet, but it took the heat and TV with it.

My friend from Cape Fair was on Skype when a loud boom echoed and the house shook like crazy.  I probably screamed.  That was it.  I was frantic.  I didn't say anything, but he was determined he was coming down.  He still had a few shifts at Silver Dollar City before moving here, but he was grabbing his chainsaws and a few other things and hitting the road.

My power and cable TV had been cutting in and out all day long, just for a mere second or two, but it always came back.  At 11 pm after the snow had stopped falling, of all things, and it was pretty quiet outside, it gave out completely.  I hadn't even realized that the furnace had kicked out sometime earlier in the evening, but it was then that I noticed the thermostat had dropped.

Now I was glad he was coming.  He'd left about ten.  It took him seven hours to get here when it normally takes four.  His experience with Highway 65 from Branson through Harrison and all of the Arkansas Ozarks was just as much of a stressful time for him as was my experience wondering if a tree was going to fall on my head.  He said there was a lone trucker on the road and an occasional rare car, but there were spots where there were no tracks at all and drifts that obscured road from no road.  Anyone familiar with 65 in Arkansas knows it curves and winds like any other Ozarks road and is nothing like a typical Interstate.

I finally fell asleep blotting out the sounds of trees and branches falling and woke up to his red Dodge pulling in at 5 am.  Shortly it became light and we surveyed the damage.  The day was spent with a chainsaw.

I do have some very pretty pictures.  I shot them that day.  I just now looked at them for the first time and I was surprised by their striking beauty.

Blue Skies the Day After (trees bent over)
John's Truck Through the Trees (the big pine that took the power and cable lines with it)
One of the Strikingly Beautiful Pictures
A Lone Frozen Tree
The Road Beyond Back to My Neighbor's Place (we removed the trees later that day so he could get out)
Power and Cable Lines Dangling Near the House
Power and Cable Lines Down
Power and Cable Lines On the Ground
The Tree That Took Them
Top of the Tree That Took Them
The Final Branch (when I'd said that I lost heat and TV when the tree fell and a couple hours later I lost lights and Internet, it turned out this was the branch [from another tree] that took my remaining services away)
The Cause of the House Shaking
The Same Branch On the Side Deck Roof (impressive in its own right and from the largest tree on the property)
I promised I'd share about the house and I know I left everyone hanging by posting a picture and then not going into any detail.  I guess I don't know what to say, so I'll do the best I can.

To tell you about my house and my move, it was completely random that I landed here where I did.  I'd always had a thing for Hot Springs and I'd occasionally glance at property there.  You know me and my constant perusals of real estate and land.  I'm always following properties in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks, but I honestly don't know how I happened to pull up this house on nearly 3 acres just south of Little Rock in Saline County, Arkansas.

It was love at first sight.  I loved every single picture of the house inside and out.  That never happens.  I had to come down and see it and the pictures turned out to be true, so I bought it.

I'm in the foothills of the Ouachitas and the Ozarks are now in my backyard.  My tales will be told from here.  I hope you'll stay along for the ride.


  1. Glad you made it through the storm ok, ice storms are the worst. Give me snow any day! Sounds like a great place, looking forward to hearing more about it!

  2. Your experience does sound terrifying. The snow scenes are gorgeous!
    I wonder if you have a fireplace as you might have some wood to burn in the future and probably not a bad idea if you are to lose power again as a back up heating source might be advisable. You'll have lots to share with us now that you have such a wonderful home. I look forward to getting acquainted with your home and surrounding property.
    Happy New Year!

  3. We're in Cherokee Village, in a heavily wooded area about 50 miles east of Mountain Home, and what you describe is very reminiscent of the ice storm we had three years ago, except in our case then, there was no snow with it... only ice. If you were at Table Rock then, I'm sure you got some of it, too. Our power went off about 4 PM on that Tuesday, and the popping and cracking continued until the wee hours of the morning. At one point a limb about the size of yours hit our roof right over the front bedroom and electric mast, but it (fortunately) didn't pull anything loose. We were without power until that Friday at about 4 PM, and were running the furnace and refigerator from the 1500 watt inverter on the RV. We also had the camp stove on card table in the living room to do our cooking. It was the only place we had light from a fluorescent floor lamp, also run off the inverter. Other people were without power for weeks afterward. We were lucky in that we had very little damage to the house other than a couple of bent gutters. What limbs hit the roof didn't even penetrate a shingle. Hopefully, yours won't be any worse. Best wishes with your clean up efforts. Feel free to contact us anytime you want to chat and compare notes with a fellow Arkansan.
    John at (

  4. Even those it's beautiful, it's also AWFUL. We had this on Christmas Eve three years ago... it takes to recover from, I know. I'm glad you're settled in your new house, though.

  5. That was quite a welcome the weather gave you. Up in eastern Missouri we still haven't had anything like that (only small amounts of snow). Beautiful photos, and I'm very glad you have found your dream house.

  6. Victoria, that brings back memories of our big ice storm of 2007. I remember the cracking,and shot-like noises as the trees froze, some transformers blew up too.
    It is beautiful but deadly.

    I am so glad you had a friend come help you. Our son came down and the whole family worked a weekend to clear us up.

  7. Congratulations on your little piece of heaven. It's a dream come true.