Ice razes MD trees

BY SUSAN KIM | OAKLAND, Md. | November 1, 2002

"People are gathering together in homes that do have heat."

—Rev. Donald Wilson

The Rev. Donald Wilson has lived in this town for 20 years, and this is the first time schools have been closed three days in a row.

The ice storm that pelted western Maryland this week caused such pronounced tree damage that residents are comparing it to a tornado.

The mountainous region that neighbors West Virginia is used to lots of snow but not ice this early in the fall, Wilson explained. "If it were winter, ice would not be a problem," he said. "But the leaves are still on the trees, and there is more for the ice to cling to."

Tree limbs couldn't bear the weight of the ice and came toppling down onto power lines and roads. Power outages were still plaguing the area Friday, and many roads remained inaccessible.

Some 4,800 people in Garrett and western Allegany counties were still without power Friday morning. Service would not be restored for most until Saturday.

"People are gathering together in homes that do have heat," said Wilson.

Some people lost the contents of their freezers, said Lynette Karsten of Zion Lutheran Church.

The ice-coated trees make the mountainsides look like "a different world," added Ron Frye, deputy director of Allegany County emergency management.

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