The snow that has accumulated on trees, power lines, etc., melts just enough to refreeze again as a clinging, solid crust on whatever it is adhered to. It doesn't take long for the weight to become more than the trees and wires can bear, and things start falling and collapsing.
Last night while the power was out and the snow and ice were at the peak of their destructive potential, limbs and whole trees would snap all of a sudden with a crack like a rifle shot, followed by a thunderous rush of snow. Normally wispy evergreen branches and fronds came raining down on houses, cars and power lines. Each pop and crack woke me with a start, wondering if the house (surrounded on all sides by cedar, fir, maple and alder) would take a hit. Going from deep, exhausted sleep to fight-or-flight adrenalized panic a dozen times per night sucks.
Besides the fear of having timber fall on our heads while we slept, we fared just fine. Our wood stove is a beast, and we used it to warm ourselves, cook our food and melt snow for water when the well water ran out.
Our power is back - for now. And luxuries like flushing the toilet and being able to wash the dishes are back and will not soon be taken for granted, I assure you.