Winter’s Worst: Dangerous and damaging ice

Weather News

It’s one of the worst kinds of weather to have to deal with during the winter. In today’s Winter’s Worst, 22News Storm Team Meteorologist Adam Strzempko takes a look at ice.

Ice can be very dangerous and very damaging. Freezing rain occurs when the air is warm enough for rain but the ground and other surfaces are at or below freezing. The rain freezes and forms a glaze of ice on what ever it comes in contact with.

When that ice forms on the roads it’s called black ice and it can make for extremely dangerous driving conditions.There are tires you can get, however, that will help you drive in icy conditions.

“Snow tires definitely help, they have special compounds in the tire that would help grip ice and some people elect, you can also have the metal studs put in them and that will really help in ice,” Guy Habrat of Town Fair Tire said.

It may look very picturesque, but when ice accumulates on trees and power lines the results can be devastating. On December 12, 2008 a major ice storm hit the hill towns of western Massachusetts.

Trees came down everywhere making roads impassable and knocking out power to an estimated 350,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts. 

“It’s the accessibility when the ice clogs up our roads breaks our trees,” Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress said. “Trees are the number one cause of outages and when that ice builds up on those trees the limbs come down and that is often what breaks the equipment.”

A state of emergency was declared in a number of towns and the National Guard was called in to help with the clean up effort.

Another phenomenon that can occur in winter are ice jams. They’re not all that common here in southern New England but we had to deal with them last winter.

Related: Connecticut River ice jams drawing a crowd

They’re caused when ice breaks up on rivers and flows down stream. That’s what happened on the Connecticut River and it greatly affected Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley.

“We’re like in an elbow and once it broke up it pushed everything into our corner it eroded our banks a little bit and took out some trees,” James Brunelle said. “We have stuff like pylons they’re 4 inch to 6 inch concrete pylons with metal surrounding on it and it just bent the ice was so strong in force it just bent them over into a U-shape.”

Related: Brunelle’s Marina seeing some damages after winter ice 

Ice is definitely one of the worst things to have to deal with during winter, so from driving, power outages to ice jams it’s important to be prepared.

Winter’s Worst

The 22News Storm Team will help you prepare for winter’s worst weather:

  • 3 tips to prepare for snow
    22News Storm Team Meteorologist Kelly Reardon explores some of the greatest inconveniences with falling white flakes, and how to overcome them.

  • Prepare for brutal cold
    22News Storm Team Meteorologist Nick Bannin explains the brutal cold coming this season to prepare you for winter’s worst weather.

  • Dangerous wind conditions
    22News Storm team Meteorologist Brian Lapis gets you ready for the worst of the winter wind, with some ways to stay safe and warm.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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