The ice storm rode in on the solstice, and on that first winter's night it blanketed the city, piling up high on tree branches everywhere. High that is, until they came down. We woke Sunday morning in the dark - although lucky enough to have power restored a little more than one day later.
Lucky too, I had the car out Saturday night in the freezing rain. The sheet of ice encasing it Sunday morning was easy enough to chip away and we escaped to the in-laws place, for they still had power. The drive through Scarborough that morning - eerie. Downed trees everywhere. Power was a patchwork with one street lit up with Christmas lights and the next in darkness. It would continue like that for several days, with some people offline for a week.
Sunday night, just after dinner, our temporary sanctuary lost power, so we awoke in darkness for the second morning in a row. They too were lucky with service restored in by Tuesday morning. By this time, our home was back online and we could reciprocate sheltering. Ultra Ninja weathered the most severe weather event of her life with no more than 12 hours in a row without electricity. My phone didn't even drop below 50%.
We were hosting Christmas Dinner this time round and losing the weekend cut pretty deep into our preparation time. It still came off without any more trouble than usual. Stocking up on provisions early and stuffing the fridge to the gills with thermal inertia paid off. And Christmas itself was a picture perfect postcard, a light dusting of snow on Christmas Eve, just like in the storybooks. Picture perfect provided you didn't look down at the mountains of fallen wood on the ground.
It wasn't until Christmas Eve that temperatures dropped so severely that people were in actual danger. Two nights in a row where it dropped below -10 C. Merry Christmas. Other than the freezing rain, the weather was actually nicer than Christmas here has been the past few years. But there was an awful lot of freezing rain. But it is the absolute insanity since then that's worn me down.
On the 28th, it all started to melt. Sunday saw the highest temperatures all month at around 5 degrees.
And then it froze again. New Years Eve was ten below again, as was the night before.
And then it got cold. -18 on the 2nd. -24 on the third.
And then it thawed on the fifth.
And then it froze on the sixth. Hitting minus 10 before sunset. Thaw freeze thaw freeze - meant that stretches of my inner suburb had plenty of spots with treacherous ice. Not a coating of ice, but solid slabs several centimetres deep. I'm a casualty, having slipped and landed on my knee on the commute home. It's not too bad - I can put weight on it and walk without a limp, but stairs take a lot longer than usual and every now and then I bend it in a way that sends shooting pains through my leg. I'm taking the classic advice of "so don't bend it that way" - but apparently I fidget in my sleep. Which I'm not doing right now - fidgeting nor sleeping.
Right now, at half past three in the AM, the storm is raging. It's twenty below, minus forty with the sustained 45 km/h winds. I just heard three more tree branches land in our already cluttered back yard.
It's supposed to thaw this weekend and freeze again before the next weekend.