The Great Ice Storm of 2013

Sara Schmuck is the Managing Editor of Client Publications for Ellenbecker Communications.


Some of you might have wondered where we were a couple of weeks ago.

If you didn’t receive a timely email reply or wondered why weren’t answering the phone for a day or two, it’s because we were in the center of what we’re calling “The Great Ice Storm of 2013.” We are located in southwestern Minnesota and many of our clients around the country and overseas weren’t aware that we were without power for two days.

It was eye-opening to realize how dependent we are on constant connection. Some of us were lucky that our homes were a part of rolling blackouts with generators powering our city so we could use personal email to send email to clients, and of course smartphones were helpful. However, our actual office headquarters was totally without power and email servers and information drives on the network were completely silent.

Fortunately, none of us starved or froze. (Or, truth be told, even got hungry. We tend to stock our pantries well here in the northland!) Unfortunately, 90 percent of the trees in our little area have lost branches or have fallen completely after both ice and heavy snow. It is no stretch to say that our streets looked as if a tornado touched down.

Check out the three photos here—one shows an incredible coat of ice on the branches of a small tree, and another shows that every single blade of grass was clad in its own clear, cold overcoat! (It was like walking on crunchy marbles!) Now imagine the weight of ice that large trees were bearing. In fact, take a look at the last photo—a lot of trees were bent over in a perfect semi-circle like this one, due to all the extra weight on them. Some of them snapped off, and some slowly stood back up as the ice melted.

Fortunately, spring has finally arrived, even in Minnesota, and the Great Ice Storm of 2013 is just a memory.