On January 3, 2013, a special program was created to remember the 15th anniversary of the disastrous 1998 Ice Storm in Upstate New York and Montreal.
Mountain Lake Journal host Thom Hallock is joined by legendary newsman Jack LaDuke and MLPBS Senior Producer Derek Muirden for a special roundtable discussion on the 1998 Ice Storm in Upstate New York and Montreal. (BorderlessNorth)
The 1998 Ice Storm was one of the worst disasters in the North Country. It rained for six days, and that rain froze on the roads, power lines, and trees creating dangerous conditions. The crack of a tree snapping and falling to the ground was heard for days. In the video it is mentioned that one WWII veteran likened the sound to that of shells bombing the area. The effects from that storm permanently changed the forests of the area, and some damaged trees are still standing as a memento of that storm.
Watch the video for some beautiful, yet frightening images of the ice encased land and trees, and to see the damage that it caused.
The electricity went out for days for many and weeks for others. The National Guard arrived to help across the area along with many other volunteers–from firefighters to regular citizens who just did whatever they could. The community came together in that turbulent time. Though there were some who took advantage of the opportunity and gouged prices because people were desperate.
I remember this storm. I was still a young child at the time. I remember that the willow tree at my grandmother’s house next door had lost many huge branches all over the yard. Our driveway and parts of the yard were slick with ice. My brother and I bundled up and skated around in our boots. I’m sure we had some days off from school unless it was still our winter vacation.
As I child I only thought of the fun parts, but looking back I can see that it was also a hard time.
My uncle already had a generator when the storm hit, and so we went up to his large garage and there were dozens of people that congregated there enjoying the heat. I didn’t know who everyone was, but I remember just playing with my cousins. We stayed there that first day and it seems like we were there all night as well in that musty, oil scented garage, but we were warm there.
We were without electricity at home for two days before we bought a generator for the house. We had no heat and the winter was cold. The pipes would have frozen and the food would have spoiled without power. Not to mention we wouldn’t have been able to cook any food without our electric appliances. My mom tells me we were dependent on the generator until the power was hooked back up weeks later.
I did not see the damage done to Essex, NY, in particular, but perhaps you can add your memories to this post in the comments? Tell us wherever you were and what you experienced during this storm and its aftermath.