Re: [gardeners] The Freezing Rain Warning Has Ended

Margaret Lauterbach (
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 06:05:58 -0700

At 06:05 PM 1/12/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Things are slowly normalizing a bit around here now. The schools are still
>closed for another couple of days anyway. My friends in Kingston had their
>power back on today, long enough to warm their houses back up. It's off
>again now, but it should only be for a few hours while something is being
>fixed. My ex-husband lives out in the country north of Kingston where the
>power is still out and may be so for quite some time yet. I was up there on
>Sunday to check in on him and my former neighbours. They're all just fine
>with their woodstoves. In most places I was offered coffee and a grilled
>cheese sandwich. One couple with an old Findlay cooking stove had been
>keeping busy baking pies and cookies! Other people are keeping their
>spirits up in different ways. The newspapers are already discussing the
>mini-baby boom to be expected in early September. :-)
>None of my acquaintances took me up on my offer of sleeping quarters here.
>They all felt they were having the adventure of their lives, to the point
>where I was feeling a teeny bit jealous that my power never went out. :-) I
>guess that speaks to the kind of people I hang out with, but I was, at
>least, gratified to be told that my daily phone calls were deeply
>appreciated sanity breaks. 
>One little ironic twist: My sister lives in downtown Ottawa. Throughout the
>entire storm she never lost her hydro, even though she lives in a heavily
>treed part of town. She was relieved over that because she's alone with a
>baby to care for. Yesterday afternoon the all clear was given in Ottawa,
>meaning that 95% of the power had been restored and the streets were
>relatively safe to travel. My sister put away all her candles, blankets
>etc. Just as she came up from the basement storage area, her power went out
>and stayed out for 4 hours. :-)
>A couple of things I noted while out and about the last few days: City
>trees took a far worse hit than trees outside the urban areas. But even
>trees in rural areas that were next to roadways or on small front lawns
>were severely damaged while forests seemed to only sustain minor damage
>along the edges. Even trees unsupported by other trees, but growing in low
>stress areas (open fields away from roadways) were less damaged than those
>in high stress areas. 
>Although I know from book learning and observation that urban environments
>are more stressful on plants than rural areas, it was a real eye-opener to
>see hard evidence of what that really means. It's also interesting to note
>that the human population is showing similar kinds of reactions. In
>Montreal, a large and crowded city (for Canada), with a population of @ 3
>million, there have been all sorts of incidents of looting, assaults, and
>profiteering. In Kingston, a small city of about 100,000 people, there have
>been no reports of looting or other thefts. People have been taking the
>time to check on neighbours, help anyone who fell on the ice, and to clear
>away branches from the streets. Merchants have been donating food to the
>emergency shelters, and stores were selling candles and batteries at the
>wholesale price.
>I've always said that gardens are a metaphor for human society and yet
>again I see it being demonstated. :-)
>Marianne, who's only inconvenience was flakey internet access and have her
>server space comandeered for email storage.
>Southwestern Ontario AgCan zone 5b

Thanks for keeping us posted, Marianne.  Do you have any idea how Richter's
made out?  They're at Goodwood, Ontario, and I can't even find that place
on my  Rand-Mcnally road atlas.  American news at least mentions the storms
and shows some horrible pictures, but nothing specific.  If there's any
good to come out of this whole thing, it's the realization on the part of
Americans how ignorant of Canadian news we're kept.  Margaret