Village Life

Villagers shared stories about Tuesday's ice storm downtown on Thursday.

Village ice storm stories

On Friday morning, Feb. 4, Village Dispatcher Larry Campbell phoned villagers with an update on the ice storm clean-up. Village crews, along with crews from several area towns, continue to work on downed power lines, according to Campbell, who estimated that about 50 residences remain without power. The crews did successfully restore power yesterday to the larger areas without power, including the Whitehall/Northwood Drive area and an area south of town between Marshall Street to the north and Corry to the south.

The crews are also focusing on restoring power to the Village water treatment plant. Due to the power outage there, villagers have been using water from the Village water towers, whose levels are now low. The Village requests that residents use water only when necessary today in order for the water tower levels to return to normal.

On Thursday, two days after the ice storm of 2011 crashed through town, downing trees and powerlines, leaving homes cold and refrigerators warm, villagers were still talking about it. The lights and heat came back on in favorite downtown gathering places on Thursday, giving Yellow Springers an opportunity to get together and tell stories about the storm.

“Imagine being awakened at 2:47 a.m. and thinking your roof is collapsing,” said Ron Siemer, who was drinking coffee at the Emporium Thursday noon. That’s what happened at his Allen Street home early Wednesday morning, propelling Siemer and his wife, Pat, out of bed and into the yard to check the damage. The roof hadn’t collapsed, but ice-laden limbs had hit the roof, creating the eerie syncopation overhead that many villagers reported hearing that night.

The storm’s sounds also make a big impression on the Bryan family on Northwood Drive, as a willow tree beside the home of Brooke and Carl Bryan was so laden with ice Tuesday night that it bent over in half, scraping against the roof.

“It was the most spooky, rumbling sound,” Brooke Bryan said on Thursday.

The family, including kids Lily, Kaden and Vivian, set out to turn a weather disaster into a learning experience by making audio recordings of the new sounds inside their home and then outside, as wind whipped through trees. Afterwards, they came inside and told spooky stories,

The storm created something called “fractured time,” Brooke Bryan said, a term used to describe what happens during and after natural disasters when people’s usually  frenzied lives slow down for a while.

“People tend to come together more and have more conversations,” Brooke said. She and her family could make recordings and tell stories any night, she said, but they usually don’t, too involved in other activities. But she was grateful for this week’s opportunity to connect with her family..

“It’s a different experience of each other,” she said.

More stories of the ice storm will be featured in the Feb. 10 issue of the Yellow Springs News.

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