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The Ice Storm of 1998 happened 25 years ago. What are your most vivid memories of Ice Storm '98?

73.7% -- No electricity

67.2% – Sounds of snapping trees, branches

35.9% -- Sharing resources with neighbors

35.4% -- Hum of generators, chainsaws

27.3% -- Quality time with family

26.3% -- Driving bans

22.7% -- Price gouging

22.7% -- Creative cooking techniques

18.7% -- Grocery shopping with flashlights

15.2% -- Four weeks without school

13.6% -- Missed work

13.1% -- National Guard presence

The NCNow Survey is an unscientific poll of visitors to who choose to participate. All comments are subject to editing.

Here are your comments:

Generator for freezer and aquarium only, no tv or lights. Lucky to have gas stove for cooking and wood stove for heat. Was granted 6 months of unemployment insurance because office was too busy with weather related claims to deal with people taking early retirement from their employer that was closing

1/23/2023 07:55 PM

On 7 January 1998, the third day of my winterim class called "Food for Thought" at SUNY Potsdam, Professor John Barthelme came over from St. Lawrence University to teach us how to make stone tools. How prophetic! The class professor, Steve Marqusee, recommended we check the news before coming to class the next day, as the school might be closed. Imagine that! That evening I called my mom who lived in Canton, and she asked me to come over to stay with her. The next morning the power was out, the heat was off, and outside the only things breaking the eerie silence were trees snapping and breaking everywhere. The power was out in Canton for eight days, and up to three weeks or more at the homes of friends in rural areas. The biggest thing I remember was the compassion and companionship of friends and neighbors who all worked together to survive this unexpected return to "the stone tool age."

1/23/2023 04:53 PM

When not working, we went around checking on neighbors and elderly. Helped us stay warm, with no electricity/heat in our home despite family neighbor have heat? Helped community clear up roads and yards for safety and travel purposes.

1/23/2023 12:17 PM

Very nice storm. I really enjoyed it and I made a lot of money wish it would happen again. It really wasn’t that bad to me.

1/23/2023 10:39 AM

It was just a mess.

1/23/2023 10:02 AM

Watching flashes in the sky on the way home from 6PM - 4AM night shift as the transformers were burning out, then 3 weeks of no work due to power outage, but we ended up getting paid for the whole time off. Filling the bath tub with water before the power went out a couple hours later. The local designated shelter getting stuck with the National Guard generator fuel bill by the Red Cross. Hauling water home from said shelter until we got a generator to use. Taking the LONG way to Watertown due to Rt. 11 being closed to meet someone from downstate who graciously let us use their generator . Having 4 extra people in the house because we had wood heat and they had none. Watching the electric wires get ripped off one of those people's house when an ice covered tree fell on them, and then had a crew from a local church put them back up.

1/23/2023 08:31 AM

My 83 year old father in Lyon Mountain helping the electrical crews from the south get what they needed to cope with winter weather

1/23/2023 07:40 AM

installed a wood stove I've been burning wood ever since.

1/23/2023 04:45 AM

6 days with no electricity, water, or hot food. We had to heat with a kerosene heater. I hope I never see another ice storm like that again!

1/23/2023 01:06 AM

I do remember very well and really took the time to understand the saying " you can't fool Mother Nature !!! i had the same turmoils and tribulations , like everybody else, but really appreciates how friends and the community sticks together when unpredictable situations overwhelmingly occur . One thing learned after the situation was to get to an appliance store and buy a gas stove and propane fireplace and even radiant propane heater that are affixed to the wall . Something like that gets your attention so if happens again i'll be covered with atleast heat stove food and light batteries! When i was venting to my Amish neighbor , i knew in his mind he was thinking ...." hmm... well yes my friend and I guess it really sucks to be you ".... and "how do ya like me now "!

1/22/2023 08:47 PM

Mostly the price gouging in SLC. No electricity was an inconvenience, but nothing to cry over like most who feel entitled. Most people wanted to claim insurance and cry about losing food in freezer, when two steps out the front door was millions of pounds of ice. Just need a cooler or garbage bag and viola’ you have a frig. But, up in here in SLC socialism where ninety percent work for some type of government you know they’re going to cry if the don’t get spoon fed by big brother.

1/22/2023 10:23 AM

I was visiting my father, a farmer, the night the power went out. The farm lost power for 23 days. Luckily we had a generator. We would finish our morning work, disconnect the generator and drive it two miles to a neighboring farm that didn't have one so they could milk their cows. The cooperation among neighbors was tremendous. The National Guard came after about 5 or 6 days and they brought big generators with them for all the farms. I can still remember talking to two troops from Tennessee and telling them where to buy better winter gear.

1/22/2023 08:43 AM

This ice storm was tough but have seen much worst in my travels in life.

1/21/2023 11:06 PM

I had a generator, I was fine. My neighbors however were sucking pond water.

1/21/2023 09:48 PM

I remember walking out of my house in the village of massena at the peak of the storm and hearing the eary cars or traffic, broken occasionally by a tree branch hitting the ground a few blocks away

1/21/2023 08:20 PM

Lived on a back road. Had no power for 6 weeks. Had to stay with someone else for 6 weeks. I still have PTSD from it. Get nervous everytime there is a storm.

I had a generator, I was fine. My neighbors however were sucking pond water

1/21/2023 09:48 PM

Working at CHMC with only generator power for three days. Everyone working as a team.

1/21/2023 11:58 AM

View respondent's answers

The first night was marked by the war-zone sounds of trees snapping under the weight of the ice. A fireball traveling down the roadside wires. And then in the morning, the constant stream of utility and National Guard trucks rolling by the house. Flooding basement and sheer relief when someone came with a generator to run the sump pump. A galvanized bucket I found in the barn was a thing of beauty, because I could melt snow. Falling asleep exhausted every night and awareness that pretty much anything we had to do had to be done in daylight hours. And our friends at NCPR, listened to on a radio with a crank to produce battery power.

1/21/2023 11:36 AM

Heating snow on wood stove to get water to bath and to flush toilet.

1/21/2023 09:58 AM

Four families in one house, combined resources.

1/21/2023 09:44 AM

Working 12 hr days to clear for power restoration

1/21/2023 08:38 AM

Sandy Cook on the radio. Fish freezing in aquarium. Reading many books by candlelight. Melting snow to flush toilet. The joy when lights came back on.

1/21/2023 07:15 AM

staying at Maxcy Hall shelter we had 5 children including a nursing infant I had 104 degree fever

1/21/2023 07:04 AM

Just having to be self sufficient and creative. Our phone service was out - it was going to take weeks before the phone company could come for repairs, so we fixed it ourselves with wire we had on hand. Took turns sleeping so one of the adults could keep an eye on everything at all times. We all slept in the living room for a little more warmth.

1/20/2023 06:24 PM

My birthday is in September '98, you do the math.

1/20/2023 12:37 PM

Before the ice storm I enjoyed dinner by candlelight. As a result of the storm, the smell of candles burning night after night made me hate them. When we were finally able to get to a store, shopping by flashlights, I thought I'd buy some beer since we'd just be sitting around playing cards until the electricity was restored, but? NO. I was told there was a ban on alcohol sales. *I imagine this was to prevent additional problems for the police in the event of domestic violence, but it seemed really dumb to me. People weren't driving around, so DWI wouldn't have been an issue. We had to put our refrigerator drawers out in the unheated entryway to keep things fresh, but were better off than most people because we have a gas fireplace for heat. The interesting thing was that our phones (landlines) worked so we could keep in touch with other people.

1/20/2023 11:43 AM

We lived in the kitchen cooking on our gas stove and playing cards until we were able to drive to the few stores open. We were last to regain power due to some glitch so it was a long 4 weeks. I kept a journal but was unable to read it for a long time.

1/20/2023 11:05 AM

No electricity for 13 days and no phone for 3 weeks. Thank goodness we had a generator to power our pellet stove. Kids had fun skating in the yard. When we did get our power back, I think I did laundry for 2 weeks!

1/20/2023 11:03 AM

living at town hiway barn

1/20/2023 10:42 AM

When the thaw started in January, the think ice let loos from the rooin and remove a 150 year chiminey.

1/20/2023 10:11 AM

Enjoying the heat from the wood stove. The Dems want to make them illegal ! Please vote American next time, thank you. F j b !

1/20/2023 01:09 AM

melting snow to flush the toilet

1/20/2023 12:18 AM

11 days without power! My wife is a RN and worked nights at CPH, had to drive her to work, it was an eerie, feeling all the lights were out in Potsdam. Are children stayed with my sister in-law, they had power. I am a Vol Firefighter, we delivered food from our school to the town residents. My wife went to the local shelter and took blood pressures etc. Sharing my neighbor’s generator, they saved our basement from becoming flooded! Counting the 15 power poles laying on the ground. GETTING OUR POWER BACK

1/19/2023 07:58 PM

It was a time to remember. It ruined the beautiful trees on our road.

1/19/2023 07:15 PM

The greed of local establishments

1/19/2023 05:25 PM

Was living in Black river NY at the time and we had a 500 year flood , during the melt off.

1/19/2023 04:19 PM

We had a very good Governor Pataki.

1/19/2023 03:43 PM

I worked in the EMS field at the time. During daylight hours we transported patients from our local hospitals in St. Lawrence County to hospitals outside the region (examples: Syracuse, Rochester and Burlington)

1/19/2023 03:34 PM

It was the worst time of my life!! I will crawl out of St. Lawrence County before I am stranded with all my family in one house, again.

1/19/2023 02:43 PM

Burning up my bed liner in my brand new truck running generator pumping basements for the FD.

1/19/2023 12:18 PM

Family time, We ate well because we didn't want food to spoil it was challenging but we made it!

1/19/2023 09:41 AM

My Wife and I miss carried after cutting my way with a chainsaw to the Hospital. The next day got activated in the National Guard to be sent to help others. Was the beginning of the end of true love.

1/19/2023 08:59 AM

Helping neighbors became vip.

1/19/2023 07:43 AM

For me it"s was two weeks of lost time

1/19/2023 06:11 AM

I was living 1500 miles south.

1/18/2023 07:36 PM

One of the convenience stores in my town tried price gouging on gas and food. It was a mom-and pop business, and a few months months later they were gone. The entire village boycotted them after the storm!

1/18/2023 04:18 PM

Making an ice rink in our yard!

1/18/2023 03:44 PM

Working round the clock for SUNY Potsdam running a shelter at Maxcy Hall for the elderly and people who were from nursing homes.It went on for weeks nobody would come into work.

1/18/2023 02:39 PM

Myself and one other cook ran The Lobster House in Norwood 18 hour days Ungrateful Owners. only place open for eating for the Emergency workers. Thats what I remember most Vivid.

1/18/2023 02:09 PM

We thankfully had a gas hot water heater and stove but spent much of our time at the local fire department volunteering as our parents were both volunteer firefighters.

1/18/2023 01:51 PM

Long hours for Law Enforcement They helped many people in St. Lawrence County The Sheriff’s Department is the greatest!

1/18/2023 01:23 PM

A beautiful step back in time to when there was no electricity or modern conveniences, with small splash of dystopia on top. If it was like that all the time it would be amazing. Transportation by horse, sword on the hip, revolver tucked away for the heavy work. A barter and coin-based economy. And a lot fewer people cluttering up the landscape as all the lightweights move south to live in the burbs. Grow, raise and hunt your own food. Never pay tithes and tributes to New York City and Albany again. Bliss.

1/18/2023 11:29 AM

remember grocery shopping for essentials by flashlight and adding grocery totals on a calculator; eating what was in the freezer so it wasn't "lost" and cooking on the woodstove; staying at my parents' house, and them getting their power back in just a couple days versus a couple weeks at my place. I remember thinking if I'd known I was going to be off work that long, it would have been nice to travel to some warmer climate.

1/18/2023 10:51 AM

-price gouging - Niagra Mowhawk milking the system while the out-of-town crews busted their buts.

1/18/2023 10:30 AM

Working double shifts because it was safer than driving home.

1/18/2023 10:21 AM

The fastest sledding I have ever experienced. Getting back uphill was really tough.

1/18/2023 10:03 AM

I grew up on a farm so we had multiple generators to keep operations going, which meant family and friends congregated at our house for showers and whatnot. As a young kid without the concern of adults, it was a lot of fun!

1/18/2023 09:53 AM

No power for 5.5 days

1/18/2023 09:49 AM

As soon as it was possible after all was over, I purchased a generator ! Haven't used it once and hope and pray I never have to !!

1/18/2023 09:32 AM

When Tim " Currier halted beer sales. Did hold Timmy back though.

1/18/2023 09:12 AM

My father worked for the NYSDOH so he was responsible for checking on the shelters that were set up to make sure they were following guidelines. Therefore, he brought my siblings and me with him to volunteer, I was a senior. I was able to make beds and serve food to people at the shelter. I also remember my parents performing shadow puppet plays on the wall everynight while we all slept in the living room as a family. We had wood heat, so our house stayed warm. I'm positive it was hard on my parents, but for me it was one of my fondest childhood memories. There was a sense of community, and eveyrone was family during those weeks. My family was a total of 12 days without electricity. National Grid, I believe Niagra Mohawk at the time, was a wonderful sight to see after those long days!

1/18/2023 09:00 AM

We both worked in residential healthcare facilities so it was work every day and at least there was electricity for those hours. Getting to and from was rather surreal. Even with the terrible damage I remember the beauty of the trees and shrubs covered in ice and will be forever grateful for all of the electrical workers and others from outside the area who came to help us get back on our feet. Our State Police and Sherriff Deputies as well as local police were awesome throughout to say nothing of the highway departments.

1/18/2023 08:57 AM

We recycled our paper into cooking flour for the mead pie, collected twigs to burn for heat in the kitchen sink. There was no water, but so much ice.

1/18/2023 08:53 AM

It was cold and icy. What a day, the ice came down in sheets, piling on everything, it was as deep as a Volkswagen. I remember going ice fishing almost every day to catch a perch for my family's meal, It got so cold we had to burn in the Christmas branch just to stay warm. Dark times they were, dark times…

1/18/2023 08:43 AM

I remember working for the county during the storm and getting a coffe mug for thanks, others got paid time off while we left our families and got a coffee mug, thank you county, nothing has changed still taking care of your own.

1/18/2023 08:30 AM

We were all packed to head to Florida. Had 60 hours without electricity. Didn’t know how to work a generator but used our gas stove. Read by flashlight. Didn’t have much food. Then we had to travel by Franklin county as St. Lawrence county was still closed off. Got to Florida to have a high wind storm and didn’t have electricity. Sandy Cook and WMSA keep us going. How I liked to hear his voice.

1/18/2023 07:27 AM

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I didn't live up here then but did come visit afterwards. I live up here now for the past 21 years and a bunch of rude people...No respect for anyone young and old!!!! Bunch of Christian backstabbers who go to church then come out and start trashing their church people that's a Republican thing...!!!

1/18/2023 07:25 AM

being with out power for 14 cooking all our frozen food days after it unthawed

1/18/2023 07:14 AM

I remember lacing up my skates and ice skating in the field across the street. We lost power but only for a few hours, we were lucky.

1/18/2023 06:12 AM

It looked like a war zone around here.

1/17/2023 08:55 PM

my daughter being born.

1/17/2023 08:14 PM

Everything outside seemed EERIE! SO Strange! It seemed like in our area everyone was very nice and helpful & it made things go smoothly. It brought our area closer together and that is what our country needs desperately. Leave the anger & hate behind and let's make our area a kind of place where we can be safe & helpful to others.

1/17/2023 07:23 PM

No heat!

1/17/2023 07:03 PM

2 weeks without power. Kept the pipes from freezing by rotating a kerosene heat throughout the house. It was almost as bad as tRUMPs presidency.

1/17/2023 06:59 PM

No power for 3 full days till we got a generator. Used my kitchen gas stove for 3 full days, for heat, cooking and melting water to wash up and flush toilet!! LOL

1/17/2023 06:43 PM

Riding school buses to get groceries. Losing power for very limited time due to the hard work of MED in preparation of and during the storm. Solid ice that was as high as the curb.

1/17/2023 06:39 PM

Got through the whole storm without power going out and then on that Saturday a line to my house went down. Power company sounding astonished it would take two weeks. I guess being in Syracuse the company did not know about areas NORTH of them.. smh... The peace and quiet. Only thing that was bad was being charged for late fees for electricity because the greedy power company said "we don't know who had power and who didn't"...SMH again...Mohawk Electric was something else.

1/17/2023 05:20 PM

Also remember vividly Sandy Cook on the radio keeping us all informed and calm. A voice of reason. Hope you are RIP Sandy!

1/17/2023 04:45 PM

...and miles of power poles destroyed on Rt. 11B between Hopkinton and Potsdam. It was unreal.

1/17/2023 04:37 PM

I was only 7 but remember getting to live with my grandparents for weeks because they had a woodstove and we didn't have to go to school! It was a blast for us kids, my parents not so much.

1/17/2023 03:49 PM

I was 8&1/2 months pregnant at that time. I remember the eeriest sound was the ice snapping the tree branches. We had no electricity for 2 weeks and no cable for 3 weeks. Also at home were a 7 & 3 year old. The ice damage was unbelievable. I don't think anyone saw this storm coming. It was an experience to talk about for generations to come. Sadly, it won't be the last ice storm we ever get. This IS the north country and this is the weather we should be used to by now.

1/17/2023 02:37 PM

My husband and I spent our time at St. Mary’s hall, Massena making meals(me) and delivering prescriptions etc., and caring for mostly seniors who just needed conversations. We forgot how to complain about our problems!!

1/17/2023 02:31 PM

No electricity which is what we are going to have when we all have to go electric because people in the Democratic Party have no idea or just don’t care if we freeze or if we eat.

1/17/2023 02:22 PM

It was horrible and we had to evacuate our home for weeks because of outages and roads impassable. I don't know why you all are celebrating it as wonderful.

1/17/2023 02:11 PM

Worrying about family and neighbors.By the way, the question that are answered With the incorrect spelling etc are answered by a. 92 year old (young) women who has. Arthritis in her. Hands and a broken. Right hand wrist. Sorry that upsets you. Keep. Reading even though your comments hurt and and. Upset the handicap. May you,live to be 100 and have. Wonderful healthy life.

1/17/2023 02:09 PM

I was 4 during the ice storm so I don't remember much. Mostly just not having any electricity and living in the middle of nowhere while we played outside in the snow and stayed home with mom who couldn't go to work. I've watched videos that my grandmother took of the snapping trees and ice but that's as much as I can remember.

1/17/2023 01:52 PM

I fairly certain the ice storm was caused by democrat's. It was an attempt to turn America into a 3rd world communist state.

1/17/2023 01:45 PM

spent the time I was without electricity at my son's house, next door to me, because he had wood heat. He was a trooper at the time, working 12 hour shifts, 7 days a week. He I think because he was worried about his wife's and children's well-being if I didn't get my morning coffee,

1/17/2023 01:20 PM

It really brought the best out in people.

1/17/2023 12:54 PM

Trying to feed and milk 150 cows while sharing a generator with a neighbor. Basically we were on duty 24 hours a day because we could only run one large piece of equipment at a time even with a large generator. Having to wash dishes in the milkhouse sink becuase that was where the hot water was. Hauling water 1/2 mile for the heifers in another barn. Having help come from downstate to clear down trees along fencelines. Everyone sleeping in one house because that is where the heat was - using the wood stove for the first time in many years!

1/17/2023 12:41 PM

It was one of the most peaceful times of my life and since I was prepared with generators and fuel on hand there was no suffering.

1/17/2023 11:59 AM

Working 7 days a week 20-24 hours a day

1/17/2023 11:59 AM

I was about 14. We lived on a dairy farm, and had a huge farmhouse which soon filled up with many relatives sleeping in every room, my great Aunt and Uncle included. We used the woodstove in the garage to cook massive meals to feed everyone, and the generator was shared between 3 different family dairy farms to get the milking done.

1/17/2023 11:54 AM

Thank God we had a wood stove and a generator! Two weeks without power was very difficult. Never want to do that again.

1/17/2023 11:09 AM

The sun shining through the ice crystals.

1/17/2023 10:58 AM

Eight days without power. Thankfully our woodstove kept us warm and we had plenty of food and water. Worst part was keeping water out of this old farmhouse cellar. A couple days in, got a generator and things were easier.

1/17/2023 10:21 AM

I also remember listening to North Country Public Radio - lots of practical advice and news about what was going on in the area.

1/17/2023 10:15 AM

Goldeneye on N64

1/17/2023 09:47 AM

Spent my time working with national guard , police assisting people and performing safety checks

1/17/2023 09:39 AM