Thursday, July 23, 2009

Part - 26. - Ice Storms



During the time after the Conway job, I was job hunting. I went up to Sedalia, MO with Daddy one Sunday. When we got to his apartment, at about 10:30 that night, we turned on the TV. There was a special bulletin being flashed on TV that the City of Sedalia was in a state of emergency. The gas main that fed the city had burst and there was no gas in Sedalia. Wouldn't you know that the apartment building furnace was gas fired and there was a gas stove in the apartment. We made out ok that night as Daddy had an electric blanket and I just loaded up with "long handles" and socks and slept fine.

The next morning was a different story for Daddy. When we got up, the outside temperature was -7 degrees F. Daddy got chilled while he was getting dressed. I was ok since I already had on my "handles."
We had to get the car warmed up and drive about seven miles to get his Government pick up, then drove another twenty miles to find a place to get coffee and breakfast. Daddy was in pretty bad shape by the time we got the pickup warmed up!

We left Sedalia on Wednesday afternoon, going back home. Joe lived in Rolla, MO; on our way. We decided we'd go by his house for a cup of coffee, then drive on through to Millry.
Well, that didn't work so well either. About twenty miles outside of Rolla, we hit a sheet of ice on the roads. We "slid" into Joe's and stayed 'til the next morning. Then, we still had about a hundred miles of icy driving to go.

Another time, while living in Oak Ridge, the kids and Robin were up for Christmas. On December 26, they went to a Dentist that was about ten miles from our house, for a checkup. JoAnne and I had decided to take them out to eat that night and were getting ready to go to the bank to cash a check.

I went out to get the truck started while Jo Anne went up to get her purse. She hollered down for me to go to the bank because it was misting rain and it was freezing on everything. I decided to keep the truck engine running to thaw it out, as I told her that the kids would probably soon be calling.

The Oak Ridge Turnpike that ran by the back of our house was beginning to have numerous cars pile up due to the glaze of ice.
Sure enough, we soon got a call from Deb saying that they were ok and Andy's car was ok, but they'd had a little accident about eight miles away. I had studded snow tires on my truck and a couple of sandbags in the back. So, I headed out to get them.

It took almost an hour to get to them. They had to stop to miss an old man's car that slid off the road in front of them, and a small Nissan truck had hit the back of Andy's '78 Cadillac. I spread sand from the bags around the truck so he could get out, then spread some around Andy's car so he could pull up in the yard of the folks that let them use their phone to call us.

Then we headed home.
By the time we got back to the Turnpike, about a half-mile from the house, the eastbound lane had been completely blocked with wrecked and stalled vehicles. I went East on the westbound lanes up to our turnoff, as there was no westbound traffic. Then on up into our back yard.

About dark, I took a couple of thermos bottles of coffee and some cake and sandwiches down to the road to pass out to the stalled people.

Once, about 10:00 PM, a car came easing up through the railroad underpass. The driver was checking to see if he could get through. I told him that I'd heard there were about 200 cars piled up just over the hill from there and there was no way he could get through. He thanked me and started to try to turn around to go back to town. His car would not move, even though the pavement was pretty level at that point. I told him to just take his foot off the brake and let the tires spin slowly. He did so, and I began pushing the car sideways near the rear end. The car easily spun round and began moving off toward town. The driver yelled his thanks out the window and proceeded.

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