New Hampshire Nature December 20, 2017
It’s Impossible To Forget The Horrible Ice Storm That Ravaged New Hampshire In 2008
New Hampshire is no stranger to storms – and we like to think we’re pretty darn tough here in the Granite State. Even so, one storm nine years ago sticks out in our memories for the terrifying devastation it caused and the time it took to repair the damage.
On December 12, 2008, New Hampshire residents awoke to a startling site – the whole world, it seemed, was coated with a thick blanket of ice. A massive storm –
the worst ice storm in a decade – that had rolled in late the night before had coated the entire northeast in frost.
Residents found trees down, wires lying in the streets, and horrifying damages to their homes, cars, and yards.
It caused the largest power outage in state history, leaving 400,000 people – two-thirds of the state's population – without power. Tragically, it also killed four people across the Northeast, including one in New Hampshire.
The storm wasn't a total surprise, but no one had any idea how extreme it would be. It took two weeks to repair the damage to the power grid, with 780 utility poles and 1,300 transformers that need to be replaced, as well as 105 miles of wire.
Utility workers and emergency responders worked day and night to restore power and clear the streets from dangerous downed wires and limbs. Meanwhile, many residents were without power for nearly two weeks, and some had to stay in emergency shelters. Worst of all, it was right in the middle of the holiday season.
Though there was a strange beauty to the site of the ice frosting every leaf and blade of grass, everyone in New Hampshire was relieved when the ice melted, the power was restored, and life was able to return to normal.
In the unlikely event that remembering the ice storm makes you crave more winter, check out
these spots that will drop your frozen jaw.