I am cozily tucked up in fleecy jammies and sheepskin booties in my warm, bright home. Lucky me! CBC news estimates that a quarter of a million people in Toronto are currently without power, and some of them may not get it restored until Christmas. Bah humbug.
I can never quite get my head around calling this type of weather an ice storm. It's not at all stormy. If the air temperature were a few degrees warmer, it would be nothing more than "persistent drizzle".
Ice has been building up slowly but surely since yesterday evening. I almost wiped out on a slick patch on the way to my friends' house. But that was on a little-used walkway in my condo complex. Once I got to the main streets things weren't too bad.
Arriving at my friends' house, I left my open umbrella on their porch. When I emerged again, several hours later, it was encrusted with ice. I had to do a little extra work to collapse the canopy. It was crispy.
We took the drive home slowly. The roads had enough traffic on them to keep them above freezing. But a few miles from home we hit a blacked out zone. No street lights. Dark homes. I assumed we'd get through it, but on and on it went. We looked hopefully for electric lights, but only saw them on in a few institutional buildings, of the type that has backup power. By the time we were almost home and still in the dark, I had steeled myself for a long, cold night.
We saw a greenish flash light up the sky as a transformer exploded.
But lo and behold, two blocks from home we discovered: electricity! Our neighbourhood, which we affectionately refer to as Condotropolis, was just outside the blackout zone. Like I said, lucky us. I do feel badly for all those people who weren't so fortunate.
We're not completely off the hook yet. There's more freezing drizzle in the forecast, and, just as worrisome, gusting winds. Ken and I have flashlights, candles, and extra blankets laid out, just in case.
Here's where I wish I could post the photo I took of a gorgeously ice-encrusted tree outside my window, however I can't get any cell service today (clearly some ice-related issue), and I'm too lazy to start downloading apps to make my Android phone talk to my Mac home computer, so that's that.