Dangers to People
injuries and automobile accidents

An intense ice storm can paralyze a region in a matter of hours, greatly affecting the people who live there.

Photograph by: McGhiey

Freezing rain is dangerous because it is almost invisible on smooth surfaces and consequently, people are often unaware of its presence. Sidewalks become extremely slick when covered with freezing rain, increasing the likelihood of someone slipping and injuring themselves. Automobile accidents are more likely to occur during an ice storm because of the icy roads.

Photograph by: McGhiey

The weight of ice can damage telephone poles and wires, cutting power and lines of communication to millions of people. During one severe ice storm in New England in 1921, ice that accumulated on the wires between two telephone poles was estimated to weigh over 4 tons. Ice can accumulate up to 4-6 inches deep during the most intense events, forcing businesses to shut down and greatly restricting commuters due to the ice-covered roads.

Freezing Rain
Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

to the environment