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On storms

Ten minutes after it began on Friday, the heavy hail stopped. Ten minutes later, there were only a few stones left on the ground. Coincidentally, not long after, I received an email from the U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station's Urban Natural Resources Institute (UNRI) about a webcast on ice storms. "Trees and Ice Storms: Developing Ice Storm Resistant Urban Tree Populations" is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18 at 11 a.m. EST. The webcast:

Richard Hauer, Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, who will introduce the issue of making urban forests less susceptible to the damage from ice storms and winter weather events. Along with fires and wind, ice storms are a frequent and major natural disturbance factor in many areas of the country. Likewise ice storms are responsible for deaths and injuries of people and cause dramatic damage and tree loss to urban forests. Ice storms annually result in millions of dollars in loss, and potentially billions of dollars in losses for extreme and widespread ice storms. Damage to electric distribution systems, blocked roadways, and property damage from fallen trees and limbs pose safety concerns and disrupt normal community functions. This timely topic will be discussed by one of the foremost experts in this area, and this webcast will help to bring you up to date on the latest research findings and outline resource materials that will help you prepare for the next catastrophic event.

For an engaging story of the recent ice storms in Kentucky, read Allen Bush's "Powerless in Kentucky" at Human Flower Project.