Icy weather puts chill on South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Icy weather puts chill on South Georgia

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January 29, 2005

Schley County- Inez Bell says she knew she was in for a chilly weekend, but never expected to see an icy wonderland outside.

"I hadn't even thought about any ice being on the ground," says Bell.

But it was on the ground, and in the trees, and unfortunately on the power lines.

"To me it's just beautiful, but I hope it don't last long," she laughs.

Bell and about 200 other Sumter EMC customers were without power Saturday morning.

"I've been warm, warm enough to near about go to sleep."

She made the best of the situation by starting a fire inside, while power crews worked tirelessly to clear lines outside.

"Ain't no telling. We're just going from place to place," says Sumter EMC lineman Oscar Simpson, Jr.

The day started for Simpson and the rest of his crew at 4 AM. The heavy ice hanging from trees proved to be no match for limbs. They quickly piled up on the ground below or got caught on lines.

The wet, soggy ground meant the workers would have to cut away downed limbs the old-fashioned way.

"There was a lot of water that fell over the night and we'll get stuck so we've got an extendo-stick with a saw where we can reach it from the ground which will be better for us and we don't have to worry about the tree top falling on us," Simpson explains.

But EMC workers weren't the only ones going back to the old way of doing things. Bell warmed her lunch of vegetable soup and cornbread over the fire as she thought back to the last time she remembers seeing that much ice.

"My grandson was a baby and we had an ice storm, and he was born in '63," she remembers.

Now Bell says she'll add the freeze of 2005 to her list of winter weather stories.

Sumter EMC officials says they continued to have scattered outages throughout the day, but had power restored to all their customers, including Bell, by late afternoon.

Posted at 6:30 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com