The Gentle Descent of…Tons of Snow
The rain changed over to snow sometime October 3, 2013 and didn’t stop until October 5th. When it did, some areas of the Black Hills were buried in up to 55″ of snow; that, my friends, is over four FEET of snow! Winter Storm Atlas left 40,000 heads of cattle dead, and tens of thousands of people without power, heat, or the ability to travel for days.
When it finally stopped.
The first night, we listened to the trees dying an agonizing death. Big trees, some of them a foot in diameter were snapping in half. If even one had fallen on the house, we would have been in very serious trouble. When dawn finally rolled around, we saw dozens of our beautiful trees were destroyed. Before the storm, we had not been able to see the neighbors below us or the main road to town; now, both were glaringly visible – Atlas had stripped us of our privacy.
We were without power for about three days. It was cold and uncomfortable but not unbearable. We had candles and flashlights, which allowed us to spend a little time after it was dark, to play cards or board games but quite frankly, being under the covers and sleeping, waiting for it all to be over with, was the best way to pass time.
When the snow finally stopped, we began to shovel. Slowly, and in stages because after the initial onslaught, it began to warm up and the snow got heavier and heavier by the hour. I believe it was five days from the beginning of the storm before we saw plows descend upon the neighborhood. People were out in their driveways, not quite as celebratory as those lining the streets of Paris in 1944 but pretty darned happy nonetheless.
We have done some preparations since that storm. There is a gas stove and range in the kitchen and a freestanding gas stove for heat in the downstairs. I suppose, as long as we can make coffee to drink and huddle around the stove, we’ll weather (yes, pun intended) whatever the gods, mythological or otherwise, throw at us.