Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Memories of January ice storms

Juanita Agan-1In years gone by, before we had I-20. we had high water problems on Highway 80 between Minden and Dixie Inn. In May and June of 1958, my husband and I took a lot of kidding about my husband delivering the baby that was due the end of June because of high water.

Time passed and the water receded and the long-awaited son came early on June 3, and we made it to the Schumpert.

My son has written about the 17-inch rainfall in July of 1933. That is the same date of a record-setting rainfall in Shreveport. In Minden the cotton crop was destroyed, the plants were washed out of the ground. That was the year of the tornado, also.

We have had several bad ice storms since we lived here. Ice storms were worse than snowstorms since trees were stripped of their limbs and plunged into the earth like spears.

I remember the ice storm of January 1973. It began with rain that quickly changed over to sleet, and freezing rain that coated our pine trees which was worse.

My mother was almost 88, blind and had been bedridden for almost 19 years, seven in a hospital bed. We had floor furnaces and depended on them and her electric blanket keeping her warm. I watched as limb after limb peeled away from the trees and plunged to the ground.

As I looked up the trunk of the nearest tree to the house, I saw a huge limb, almost a foot in diameter start to slowly peel away and begin to drop directly on the light lines from the pole to our home. If that limb severed that line, my poor mother would just suffer. lying there in her hospital bed.

I started praying from the depths of my heart, imploring God to take care of Mother. As I prayed the limb started down, apparently going to make a direct hit on our electrical wires.

I continued to pray and suddenly the limb connected with the lines, and they sank down almost touching the ground. But they did not snap nor pull out of the wall, they bounced up and pitched the limb off the lines and it landed in the rose garden. No more limbs were hanging above the wires.

God had answered my prayer in a most spectacular way. We were one of a very few who did not lose their electricity. No one else around me kept theirs, and it was an answer to prayer for my mother that God answered.

In the 60 years in this old house, we have seen many storms and damage, but we were always safe. Our God is an awesome God and He does answer prayer.

We have had our share of electrical shocks, with at least three televisions being burned up in one storm. I do not know why they seemed to draw lightening. My premiums went up, and I quit reporting damage so that my premiums would not still go up more.

We have had trees to fall but not on our home, and we got it all cleaned up and even had the fences rebuilt where the trees lay.

My heart goes out to those whose homes were destroyed. We had two serious fires, one when I was three and the second when I was 12, and lost all family pictures – just as bad as a storm.

Following one of our ice storms, Rupert Krouse brought a friend and power saws and went from home to home for widows and cut up the limbs and got them off the fences and saved us money. He was such a fine Christian friend.

I remember 1933 and a severe storm that hit Zwolle the same afternoon the tornado hit Minden. We spent the afternoon in a railroad culvert under the trestle with half the business district and their families.

As the water deepened in the dry bed, people lifted their children in their arms to prevent them from drowning. My mother was not a tall woman, but she had me put my legs around her waist and my arms around her neck and hold on with all my strength to prevent me from being submerged by the water.

Some parents had older children lift up younger ones until all were above water level.

It was a frightening experience but God saw us all safely through it. As I wrote this I thought of Noah and the ark, and realized that culvert had been our 'ark.'

The next few years after 1933 brought other storms, and we always hunted a storm cellar or a trestle or even a deep ditch. Once, lightening struck the ground near our refuge. On several occasions, lightening struck the TV antennas and burned up our TVs. So you can see that I am scared of storms – either tornados or just storms with lightening, or ice storms.

God has answered my prayers and brought me through so many of life's storms. Are you as frightened as I am of storms? Psalms says: "what time I am afraid I will put my trust in thee."

Try it, it works.

Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years before her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing selected articles from Mrs. Agan's Cameos column every Wednesday.­­






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