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MICHIGAN WINTER

The Great Ice Storm of 2013

Story by Jesse Morrow January 24th, 2014

On coming home

Since I moved from Michigan 4 years ago I have not missed a Christmas. One year I came close as I flew in on Christmas day at about 12:30 p.m. I arrived at the Detroit Airport only minutes before the 'underwear bomber' (remember that guy?) tried to ignite his briefs. Luckily I wasn't on the same plane and was gone before any of the chaos. This year I was back quite early and enjoyed about a month of being with family and friends. My time in Michigan also included The Great Ice Storm of 2013.

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A State of emergency

If I recall correctly, the satellite television show my family and I were watching the evening of 12/22 started to scramble and inevitably went out. A true midwest devastation. Rain was coming down outside and almost immediately turning to ice as it hit the house. By 1:00 a.m. the power had shut off. I remember because my noise fan turned off which ironically woke me up.

The light of day revealed the ice build-up on surfaces exposed to the elements. Never seeing something quite like this before, I needed a further examination. I headed out into the fields behind my parents' house. Each tree branch creaked and moaned with the extra weight it had put on overnight. Full trees snapped in half, sending echoes like gunfire through the woods. One after another tree branches came down. Michigan was in a state of emergency.

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Beauty vs. Carnage

There wasn't exactly carnage, but there were some who lost their lives because of the storm. Many homes were damaged by fallen trees or without power in sub-zero temperatures for several days. Some of these outages lasted through the holiday. While those thoughts made the landscape a little harder to enjoy, I was still overwhelmed by the beauty of the ice and snow. The mesmerizing images and sounds of frozen crystal-covered branches dangling with their last ounces of energy kept me coming back for more each morning.

A few days before I left, temperatures rose and the ice began to loosen its hold. The ice daggers slid off their high perch and flew to the ground with the sound of shattering glass. Nature won again, beauty & carnage came and went.

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Of course I made my beautiful sisters let me take their picture.

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Owosso, MI, United States
LICENSE PHOTOS FROM THIS TRIP