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15 Years Ago Was ‘The Ice Storm Of 1998′

Brandi Simons, Getty Images

Do you remember where you were 15 years ago today and through the week? If you lived in the northeast of North America you were probably somewhat affected by ‘The Ice Storm of ’98.’ I wish I had pictures or thought of taking them back then, but I don’t have any.

I can tell you I was living at 28 Weston St. in Augusta. We lost power on Sunday January 4th at about noon.

My place during the Ice Storm of ’98
28 Weston, Augusta (Upstairs)

I had to work that night, so I had just had my shower and was getting ready and very happy that I was clean before losing power. I was working for a radio station in Auburn and had to drive the roads because we were on a generator and up and running to get out information for people during this disastrous event. The interstate was deserted and fairly easy to drive, but Washington St. in Auburn was a different story. I’ll never forget

The old workplace in Auburn

driving down Washington St. in Auburn and going the wrong way because the opposite way was impassible due to power lines on the road. I was coming up on the station and I saw headlights coming at me. My heart was pounding. As they got closer I could see two snowmobiles coming at me. Snowmobiles were probably the best way to get around then. In any event, I arrived alive.

During the ice storm some were without power for days, others weeks. We in Augusta, on Weston St., lost power at noon on that Sunday, when I went to work. By the time I got back home, the power had been restored. My ex told me we lost power for about eight hours. At the time we were happy, we had power, but we didn’t realize how bad others were going to have it in the days to come.

We invited people over to stay the night to take showers and have a dinner made by stovetop. We even had cable and phone. No takers for showers or overnight stays but we did have many visitors. I also remember people honking in celebration when driving by Central Maine Power while they were working on the lines to get people back up.

I went through a lot of gas and washer fluid that week warming up my car and keeping the ice on the windshield at bay. I was chipping away ½ inch thick chunks of ice or my favorite, a three-foot pane of ice pops off the window. Yes, the feeling of accomplishment.

What I remember too from that time is the spirit of the community, people helping people, sharing food, heat and hot water and giving clean clothes and care packages. Humanity comes through in tough times.

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