Ice Storm 2002

Beginning the evening of 29 January 2002, an ice storm hit Ottawa and the surrounding areas. Freezing rain continued to fall during the evening and all the following day. Starting at about 5:15 pm on the 30th, we first heard the sounds of trees splitting in the area of our house. Within half an hour, tree limbs breaking off and falling became a common event, happening every three or four minutes within earshot.

I stepped outside a few times to see what was happening but it was almost all across the street. Then we heard one that was close enough that it brushed the house. I stepped out and, sure enough, it had begun. From the outside, I could hear trees breaking every 10 to 15 seconds -- though most were probably a few blocks away.

All through the night it continued. It was difficult to sleep through it, and several time I looked outside to survey the damage. The limbs began to mount all over the yard. We only lost power a couple of times, and both times very briefly, but the flashes of transformers blowing out were regular events that night. By 4:30 am we had lost the telephone line.

At first light we went outside to look it over. I grabbed the camera and took these pictures.

Looking down the driveway
From our front yard looking north
From our front yard looking northwest
From our front yard looking south
The north side of the house
Bird's eye view of the back yard
A closeup of the back yard
The south side of the house
A large limb that fell on the apartment roof
Another view of the same thing
A tree back at the alley
Enhanced image showing the location of downed lines. The cable line was snagged in the limb on the roof and broken near the front of the truck. The phone line was on top of the truck.