“The Scourge of Winter” – Jylian Evans

Jylian Evans is a current SCC student who wrote this essay for her English Class. She is currently in the Medical Office Administration and Health Information Technology programs. Jylian has plans to transfer to Pitt CC once she graduates in 2019.

“The Scourge of Winter”

In 2011, I experienced my first ice storm. This scourge of winter taught me an important lesson about life. Preparing will always be the best defense against unforeseen events that can throw life into disarray.

It was the end of the day, and I had just gotten home from another arduous day at school. After exiting my mom’s red Dodge Avenger, I look up at the sky and see only a gray mass. I remember the weatherman this morning saying we had a good chance of a small winter mix of snow and sleet. I’m getting my backpack out of the trunk when it starts to snow. I look up at the sky with a scowl. I have always disliked winter just because of the cold. When adding snow or sleet into the mix, I like it even less.

When we get inside, the weather is steadily getting worse. Instead of just snow, there is also sleet and freezing rain descending as well. Mom turns and hands me her phone. “Check the weather forecast and text your dad a list of what we need for the house. Tell him to get all the supplies he needs for the generator, too.” After sending the text, I get on our local news station’s website to check the forecast. The station had recanted its previous advisory and had issued a severe ice storm warning for our surrounding area.

When I told my mother of this shocking development, she looked me in the eye and said, “Make sure all of the electronics you may need are plugged up, in case the power goes out.” By the time we had gathered all of the items we would need, it was time for my stepdad to come home. When his white Dodge pickup pulls up, my brother and I trudged outside to help him unload. The cab was full of household supplies, while the bed was full of fuel for the generator.

Later that night, after getting the house situated with a fire going in the woodstove in our living room, the storm finally hit. The wind picked up. I could hear it howling, as well as the freezing rain pattering against the roof. I sat and looked out the window into the pitch-black night. I could see the ice passing by the window so fast it felt like I was in a snow globe that had been shaken up.

All of a sudden, we heard a loud creaking sound. Crash! Boom! The whole house shook, and we were in darkness. My stepdad went outside with a flashlight to investigate. A few minutes later he came back to tell us all the power lines had snapped by the heavy wind and ice. Power lines down on the road meant trouble. I thought, “Great, all of the power lines are down, and the power is out; can this get any worse?” The answer is yes; it can always get worse.

The next day the world looks like it is submerged in ice. The trees looked like popsicles. A six-inch layer of ice covered the snow that blanketed the fallen trees. Our pipes are frozen, the power is out, and it is still snowing.

For two weeks, we try to make the best of our bleak situation. We attempt to keep ourselves occupied with portable DVD players, books, and board games; but with four of us stuck in a house unable to leave, our tempers ran high. The only thoughts that kept my spirits up were we still had plenty of food, our generator lets us charge our battery powered devices, and I didn’t have school.

The ice storm of 2011, taught me unexpected events happen, but it’s always important to be prepared when misfortune strikes. Now I try to be prepared for any situation that may present itself. I will use this wisdom.

-Feb. 13, 2017

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