Monday, January 10, 2005

The Perfect (Ice) Storm

This past Thursday, January 7th, what was a cold rainstorm in Scranton turned out to be a very bad ice storm in Mount Pocono, just ten miles to the south. Temps there were well below freezing, and when the temperature inversion dropped rain on the area, everything rapidly became thickly coated in ice. Thousands of people were without power as the ice-laden trees fell, breaking power lines in hundreds of places. Some only got their power back Sunday afternoon!

I went out to the Mount Pocono airport to check on the CAP plane that I am in charge of; it was tied down outside, and I knew it would be heavily iced. But I have never seen anything like this; all the planes on the ramp were coated with more than 3 cm of ice! It was oddly uniform, coating every surface; and because it had added hundreds of pounds of weight to the light aft sections, the planes had tilted back onto their tails, and then frozen there like dinosaurs in a tar pit.

There didn't appear to be any damage; the best course of action is to just let the ice melt off gradually. It would be too easy to damage the lightweight structure by trying to remove the ice piecemeal with heat, chemicals or implements. But I did snap some pictures, of a few of the planes and of some of the poor trees near the Tobyhanna exit.