Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pic of the Day: Big Freeze

I've never seen ice like this in Pensacola. This was taken Wednesday morning, after nearly 20 hours of icy rain, freezing rain, and sleet. No snow, but plenty of ice blanketing everything. The National Weather Service estimated 0.2" of it by dawn Wednesday.

Every tree had ice weighing its leaves. One on my side of the house was leaning badly enough to grind its limbs against the shingles.

Every car's doors were iced shut...except for the X-11's. Any time it rains I have to run out to throw a tarp over the still-leaky sunroof. I could try to be smug about being able to open my doors, but the tarp was ice-welded to the roof and doors. Couldn't see, anyway, since the windshield wipers were frozen to the glass and their mechanical stuff was entombed in ice.

The rest of my car looked about like everyone else's--a heavy coat of ice on every horizontal surface, all exposed glass iced over, icicles drooling from overhangs.

Nobody went anywhere. I didn't even try walking on that road. There's enough ice there for a hockey game. Before everything finally thawed out sometime early Friday, I heard at least three cars coming around the curve too fast and sliding into the curb. Otherwise, it was deathly quiet, even on the Interstate a mile away. There were something like 100 traffic accidents, one 17-vehicle pileup on I-10, and a train derailment in that frozen 48 hours.

I managed a couple of photo-reconnaissance trips Wednesday and Thursday mornings, right when it was the coldest. I thought of Fort Pickens, which must have looked spectacular just then, but all the bridges in the area were closed even if I were fool enough to try driving the icy roads.