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Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017

Bad Ground Hog

Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at 9:41 AM

Okay, the Ground Hog Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter a couple weeks ago but is he correct? He did see his shadow on Feb. 2, the official Groundhog Day. The temperature started going down as soon as his prediction was announced. I don't like to think about six more weeks of winter.

I was hoping the little rascal would predict an early spring -- and be correct. I am so ready for outside time. Officially spring does not begin until Monday, March 20, but most of us would not be against a little spring weather coming in early. We can always hope "Phil's" prediction will not reach this far south. After all, he is a northener groundhog.

Daylight Savings Time starts March 12. That is okay with me.

I am one of those who likes my extra daylight in the evenings. When it gets dark, whether it is 5 p.m. or 8 p.m., I get sleepy. I seem to be more productive in the daylight hours.

Back to the topic of the day -- the weather. We had a mild January but that is no sign winter weather is over. February and March can bring us surprises when it comes to weather in Northeast Arkansas.

Do you remember the ice storm during the last of January in 2009? It was a bad one and we lost a lot of trees, had property damage, utility poles were down, and I began to wonder if we would ever get back to normal. It was the worst ice storm I had seen in my lifetime.

Remember the first days of March in 2014? We had another ice storm. My husband got sick on the day of the ice storm. Finally, late on Sunday night I had to call 911 for an ambulance. The weather was so bad I knew I would not be able to drive. It took the ambulance forever to get to our house and then it took us even longer to get to Jonesboro to the hospital. They could only drive about 20 to 25 miles per hour and the highways were unbelievable. It was the worst driving conditions I had ever been in. I was thankful I was not driving and said a prayer of thanks when we arrived. We stayed five days in the hospital and there was still some ice around when we left going home. I never stepped outside of the hospital while we were there. I just watched the weather from the window.

Damage from the 2014 did not compare to the 2009 ice storm but it is still memorable.

Older people talk about the flood of 1937 and my generation can pass down facts about the ice storm of 2009.

We were among the 365,000 reported without power on that Wednesday morning in January 2009. We had power workers come in from all over, the National Guard brought in water and rations, American Red Cross volunteers were offering their help. The Airport Center in Manila was set up as a distribution center.

Utility workers from all over gathered in Monette and the communities across Buffalo Island all worked together.

At my house we had a gas cook stove so we were able to cook meals and keep the house warm. Many of the people in the all electric homes had to relocate or find generators. As our frozen foods thawed, I would cook it all and share it with family and friends. We did not have to throw anything out.

I know people who live in parts of Alaska or other "cold" places would probably make fun of us for even considering our ice storms a disaster. To them it would probably just be the normal. I guess if you live in long-time freezing conditions, you are more prepared. There is no way I would want to live in sub-zero conditions for long periods of time.

Give me the spring. We can hope Phil was wrong and this will be one of the years his prediction does not come true.

We enjoyed some higher temperatures last week but they came with threats of storms.

Let's hope spring arrives sooner than later.

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Revis Blaylock has been on staff with the Manila Town Crier for over 35 years. She has enjoyed making friends in all the areas that the Town Crier covers. This blog contains her general ramblings about events throughout Buffalo Island. She welcomes your comments and ideas for future stories.
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