Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Defining Moments--L. Yaksic
I remember the ice storm that hit Mena, AR December 25, 2000. I was pretty young at the time but I remember how bad it was at the time. It was Christmas day and we were supposed to go to Little Rock later that day to celebrate Christmas with my aunt and uncle. It started icing early that morning and it did not let up until way late that night. The things that I remember most from that time were no power, falling a lot, and leaving to go to my aunt and uncle’s house. I learned just how hard it was to make it without the necessities in life.
The ice storm was horrible and at midnight the power went off. It was an all electric house which meant there was also no heat. My family and I lived about a mile off of the main highway on a gravel road in the woods. The town of Mena was about 16 miles from our house. I remember hearing trees falling every few minutes. The ice on the power lines and the numerous trees falling created the power outage. It was so cold in the house, my mom covered my brother and I with a lot of blankets but finally my parents decided to go stay with my grandparents who lived across the street.
The trip to my grandparent’s house was a nightmare! Luckily my grandparents lived on top of a pretty steep hill. The road was covered with ice. My brother and I would try to climb the road but every time we would get up some distance, we would both fall and slide right back down the hill. This happened several times until my dad finally drug us up the hill. My grandparents luckily had gas heat and a way to cook. I will never forget how hard it was to climb that hill.
The power was off for 5 days and it was hard living without power. We had to melt icicles to use for washing dishes and for water. My grandparents lived in a small house which made it difficult with so many people in the house. On the evening of the sixth day, my uncle Craig came all the way from Little Rock and told us, “let’s get out of here.” My grandparents stayed behind but my family left. The ride there was horrible. I remember seeing cars in ditches and trees laying everywhere across the road. My dad and uncle helped people push their cars back on the road several times. Finally we made it back to my aunt’s house. It was so nice to have power again.
One thing that I learned is that I am grateful to have power and the basic necessities of life. I have also learned that ice storms are bad and to always be prepared for one if they forecast them on the news. The ice storm on 2000 is a childhood memory that I do not think that I will ever forget.